First Look: It's Only a Play Cast Reenacts Ellen's Oscar Selfie

Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, and more pose to promote gay playwright Terrence McNally's new Broadway comedy.

BY Brandon Voss

August 25 2014 3:00 PM ET

The cast of It's Only a Play

Broadway art imitates Hollywood life in the first official photo for Terrence McNally's It’s Only a Play.

The star-studded cast of the backstage comedy — F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, and Micah Stock — was inspired by the star-studded selfie that host Ellen DeGeneres famously shared on Twitter in February during the Academy Awards telecast.

Directed by out Tony winner Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, The Nance), It's Only a Play will begin previews Thursday and officially open October 9 for a limited 18-week engagement at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre with Tom Kirdahy, McNally's husband, as a lead producer. Kirdahy recently produced McNally's Tony-nominated gay-themed drama Mothers and Sons.

In It's Only a Play, "it's opening night of Peter Austin's (Matthew Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit," according to press notes about the production. "With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Nathan Lane), his fledgling producer (Megan Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Stockard Channing), his wunderkind director (Rupert Grint), an infamous drama critic (F. Murray Abraham), and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant (Micah Stock) on his first night in Manhattan. It's alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender — and proves that sometimes the biggest laughs happen offstage."

McNally's newly revised comedy, which premiered off-Broadway in 1986, will mark the Tony-winning playwright's 21st Broadway production.

Lane and Broderick, who broke box office records in 2001 as stars of the Broadway musical megahit The Producers, last shared the stage in the 2005 Broadway revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. Lane came out publicly as gay in a 1999 interview with The Advocate.

Mullally's previous Broadway credits include Young FrankensteinHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Grease. The Emmy-winning Will & Grace star, who famously came out as bisexual in a 1999 cover story for The Advocate, later clarified her remarks to The Advocate in 2009, saying, "I know the gay community wants me to be bisexual, but unfortunately I'm not as bisexual as people have wanted me to be. I am married to a man, we've been together 10 years, and I've never had sex with a woman. But I do still think everybody has an ability to love that isn't limited by gender."

For tickets and more information visit ItsOnlyaPlay.com.

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