When Hollywood stars decide to take the theater plunge, it’s often in a production like Chicago (Broadway’s “sure thing”) or an audience fave certain to garner positive reviews (i.e. anything by Neil Simon). Leave it to Kerry Washington to do just the opposite for her Broadway debut.

“This was just an opportunity I couldn’t imagine passing on,” she says of joining the cast of Race, the highly anticipated new David Mamet play. “To originate a role in a David Mamet play that he is directing... I feel incredibly lucky to be working with this Pulitzer Prize-winning person who is such an icon in American literature.”

For Race, Washington joins stage veterans Richard Thomas and David Alan Grier; it’s also her second time playing a lawyer opposite James Spader, with whom she costarred during a five episode arc on Boston Legal.

More important, this also marks a return home for the Bronx native. “Growing up in New York, [performing in a Broadway play] is what I’ve wanted to do more than anything else and so it’s a little bit surreal and exciting,” says Washington. “I really, really love my job and I especially love doing it with people who are at the top of their game because they force me to grow, and I imagine this is going to be one of those opportunities.”

NEW YORK FAVORITES
Charities: The Creative Coalition, Americans for the Arts Artists Committee, The People Speak, V-Day
Takeout: Bonobo's on 23rd Street, "[It has] the most fresh, alive food ever."
Restaurant: Craft

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