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The 2014-2015 Broadway Season

The Real Thing
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton star in a new production of Tom Stoppard’s 1984 Tony Award-winning Best Play.

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American Airlines Theatre
Opening Night - October 30 2014
Final Performance - January 04 2015
Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (l. to r.) in Tom Stoppard's <i>The Real Thing</i>.Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (l. to r.) in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Photo by: Joan Marcus


Ewan McGregor is Henry, a playwright not so happily married to Charlotte (Cynthia Nixon), the lead actress in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing. Tom Stoppard’s play takes a daring glimpse at relationships, fidelity and the passions that often blur our perception of love.


  • Cynthia Nixon appeared in the original Broadway production in the role of Debbie (while simultaneously performing in another Broadway show, David Rabe’s Hurlyburly, both directed by Mike Nichols). She now plays that character’s mother.
  • Stoppard’s script makes expert use of a dramatic device called a “play-within-a-play,” and includes scenes from classics such as ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Miss Julie, which are connected thematically to events in Stoppard’s “real” play.


The Real Thing debuted in 1982 at the Strand Theatre in London. The 1984 Broadway staging won the Tony Award as Best Play. A previous Broadway revival in 2000 won that year’s Tony as Best Revival of a Play.


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Revised January 6, 2015


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