Now On Broadway: Hot Shirtless Guys

There are two revivals of classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning dramas currently running on Broadway right now. Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Picnic, William Inge’s reflection on youth and love, opened this week at American Airlines Theatre. Meanwhile, Tennessee Williams’s fiery classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is currently in previews (the show opens on Thursday) at the Richard Rogers Theatre. Both plays offer classic stories and star-studded casts, but most importantly: both feature a really hot guy who spends a lot of time not wearing a shirt. 

Picnic, with features an all-star cast including film and theater legend Ellen Burstyn, Mare Winningham, Lost‘s Maggie Grace, and Ben Rappaport, that super cute guy from the unfortunate sitcom Outsourced, follows the residents of a small Midwestern town as they prepare for a Labor Day picnic. Everyone gets the vapors, of course, when a mysterious drifter with abs shows up, basically. Gossip Girl‘s Sebastian Stan goes without a shirt for most of the first and second acts of the show, and then struts around the third act with his shirt ripped open. Everyone is pretty good in it, especially Burstyn, Winningham, and Grace, but more importantly: Sebastian Stan looks great, as you can see above. 

Scarlett Johansson makes a return to the Great White Way as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and while she commands the stage and the audience’s attention, it’s Benjamin Walker, most known for playing the title roles in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (he has a thing for revisionist history, I suppose), who caught my eye as Brick, limping around in just a towel for the entirety of the first act. And yes, there is some partial nudity. As you can gather from the photo below, Walker is a giant of a man. His presence should appease anyone who has an irrational dislike for Johansson and would need something fun to look at in order to get through the three-hour play. 

benjamin walker

Broadway is sexy again! Now if we can get these dudes to fly above the audience like in Spider-Man or something.

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The New Regime: Hunter Parrish, Sebastian Stan, Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff, who one day earlier wrapped his first film, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, is the veteran of the bunch. After his Tony Award-nominated performance as the libidinous Melchior in Duncan Sheik’s Broadway masterpiece Spring Awakening, he went on to star in Hair and later, this month’s off-Broadway adaptation of Craig Lucas’ Prayer for My Enemy. In Woodstock, the baby-faced charmer channels Michael Lang, the charismatic creator of the world’s most notorious music festival. “On the very first day of shooting,” he says, from the basement of Manhattan’s Belmont Lounge, seated next to Sebastian Stan, who can be seen on NBC’s newest dystopic drama, Kings, “Ang held this big good luck ceremony where he blessed the cameras and the crew, and we all lit incense. There I was, sitting next to Eugene Levy with a stick of incense against my forehead. It was kind of surreal.”

Sprawled on a nearby banquette, Hunter Parrish, who plays the troubled son to Mary-Louise Parker’s drug-peddling soccer mom on Weeds, and who recently took over for Groff in Spring Awakening, shares a surreal experience of his own. “There are a couple of scenes in the show that are about, um, self-pleasure,” says the star of the upcoming film 17 Again, in which he plays Zac Efron’s bully. “After one show, this guy was like, Will you take a picture doing that with me?” Parrish didn’t, but smiled at the little pervert, proof that even though these actors are just starting out, they’ve already learned to play the game.

Photo: Victoria Will