This March, Chris Evans will make his much-awaited Broadway debut as he is set to star alongside theater luminary Michael Cera in the revival of Lobby Hero, a play written by the esteemed Kenneth Lonergan and directed by Trip Cullman. Playbill report that it will kick off Second Stage Theater’s inaugural Broadway season and will begin previews starting March 1 at Helen Hayes Theatre.
Lobby Hero follows the lives of four New Yorkers who are caught in the middle of a murder investigation. The four New Yorkers are Jeff, a 27-year-old security guard who has had troubles with women; William, his strict superior; Dawn a young, attractive police officer to whom Jeff is attracted; and Bill, her unpredictable and sometime volatile partner. Stage veteran Cera nabbed the role of Jeff, who is a classic Lonergan character—clumsy yet lovable, seemingly down on his luck for perpetuity. Evans, on the other hand, will play Bill, sometimes capricious, other times confused, and forever complex.
Lonergan, an Oscar-winning American film director, playwright, and screenwriter, explores various themes in Lobby Hero, notably ideological dilemmas: Should Jeff, knowing that Bill has a dalliance with a prostitute, snitch on the volatile cop? How far will Dawn go to excise from her record an episode of police brutality? What will the impulsive Bill do to both Dawn and Jeff?
Cera may be the star of the show, but Evans’s turn onstage will likely stir as much interest, if not more. The Boston native, who has made quite a name for himself in Hollywood as the forever righteous Steve Rogers aka Captain America, will have to prove to theater fans that he is more than just a shield-wielding action hero.
Evans, of course, will likely be known forever for his integral role as Captain America in the ubiquitous Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which has been a moneymaking franchise for a decade now. The Captain America trilogy alone earned upwards of $2 billion worldwide, while the two Avengers films, where Evans reprised his role as Steve Rogers, raked in over $2 billion globally, too.
Clearly, the Boston native has played a huge part in raising the profile of the superhero genre. It has soared to such unprecedented heights that other industries are earning off the genre. A prime example is the gaming industry whose superhero-themed games have latched onto the genre’s current place in pop culture. Slingo has a lineup of online superhero-inspired slot games that were developed mainly due to the genre’s immense popularity, including Black Widow which is obviously inspired by fellow Avenger and super spy Natasha Romanoff. The genre has become so popular, in fact, that game developers don’t even need to mention the superhero by name anymore to get fans’ attention. They can simply base the game on a well-known superhero and fans will likely get the allusion already, as in the case of Thunderstruck, which is inspired by Thor. Time will tell if the inclusion of Evans will be able to raise the profile of Lobby Hero in the same way he has helped the superhero genre. One thing is sure; Evans will certainly encourage an audience who only know him through films to go see him in the theater.
Lobby Hero will certainly test Evans’s drawing power, and for fans of the Hollywood heartthrob, March can’t seem to come quickly enough.