Brian d'Arcy James

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Brian d'Arcy James
Brian d'Arcy James SR.jpg
Brian d'Arcy James at the stage door of Something Rotten! in the Summer of 2015
Born (1968-06-29) June 29, 1968 (age 47)
Saginaw, Michigan
Occupation actor, musician
Nationality American
Education Northwestern University

Brian d'Arcy James (born June 29, 1968) is an American actor and musician.


James graduated from Northwestern University's School of Communication. He received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 2002 for his portrayal of Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success, co-starring John Lithgow. He also received an Obie Award for his performance in the one-man play The Good Thief by Conor McPherson.

Additional Broadway credits include playing Frederick Barrett in Titanic, Lincoln Center's Carousel, and Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway credits include Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party in 2000 opposite Julia Murney and Idina Menzel for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, as well as Adam Guettel's Floyd Collins and the Gershwins' Pardon My English. He appeared in Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway, replaced Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and starred in The Apple Tree opposite Kristin Chenoweth.

In 2004, he released a Christmas album titled From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn. He was the Broadway version of Bob Wallace, whose character was originated by Bing Crosby, in White Christmas in 2004.

He played the role of Dan Goodman in the new musical Next to Normal Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2008.[1][2] He then starred opposite Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber as the title character in Shrek the Musical. The show began previews on Broadway November 8, 2008 and opened on December 14 at The Broadway Theatre after a tryout in Seattle.[3] For this role James won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[4][5] He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal.[6] He departed the cast after one year in the role and was replaced by Ben Crawford.[7]

James starred alongside Laura Linney, Alicia Silverstone, and Eric Bogosian in the Broadway play, Time Stands Still. It began preview performances on January 5, 2010 and officially opened on January 25 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.[8] The show ended its limited run on March 27, 2010.[9] For this role he won the Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actor in a Play.[10][11]

James reprised the role of Dan Goodman in the Broadway company of Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre. He replaced J. Robert Spencer beginning May 17, 2010.[12] James ended his limited engagement on July 18, 2010 and was replaced by Jason Danieley.[13]

On July 19, 2010 James performed in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, which also aired on PBS October 20, 2010.[14]

He returned to Time Stands Still when the show returned to Broadway. It closed on January 30, 2011.[15]

James was part of the cast of the NBC musical series Smash, playing Frank, who was the husband of Debra Messing's character.[16] NBC officially picked up Smash as a series on May 11, 2011.[17] The program made its series premiere on February 6, 2012.[18] He did not return to the show as a series regular for its second and final season.[19][20]

James starred in Torstein Blixfjord's 2012 short film Bird In A Box, alongside Fiona Glascott.[21]

He co-hosted the 57th Drama Desk Awards with Brooke Shields on June 3, 2012.[22]

James starred as Bick in the new musical, Giant, which ran at the Public Theater from October 26 - December 16, 2012.[23][24] For this role James received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.[25][26]

He also performed at the 29th birthday celebration of the New York Pops, which was a celebration called "Journey On", celebrating the work of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. He performed "Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime with Andrew Rannells, Rebecca Luker, Liz Callaway, Kevin Chamberlin, Jason Danieley, Boyd Gaines, Lewis Grosso, Norm Lewis, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Darlene Love, Marin Mazzie, Tiler Peck, Nikki M. James, Rachel York, and LaChanze, along with Flaherty and Ahrens.[27]

He played Banquo in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Macbeth, which began previews in October 2013 and officially opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in November 2013.[28]

He stars in a new musical on Broadway, Something Rotten!, which opened in previews at the St. James Theatre on March 23, 2015 and officially on April 22,[29] for which he received his third Tony nomination.

James played Matt Carroll in the 2015 film Spotlight.

Personal life[edit]

James was born in Saginaw, Michigan, the son of Mary (née Kelly), a seller of children's books, and Thomas F. James (deceased), a lawyer.[30] His maternal grandfather was Harry Kelly, a former Governor of Michigan.[31] His uncle was Brian Kelly, an actor featured in the series Flipper and a producer of the movie Blade Runner. He has two sisters: Kate James, an actress and writer who performs in the Chicago-based sketch comedy group, Schadenfreude, and Anne James Noonan, also an actress. He also has one brother, Andrew James. Brian is married to Jennifer Prescott, and they have a daughter, Grace, and a Springer Spaniel named Josie.

Theatre Credits[edit]

Year Show Role Category
1993 Blood Brothers Ensemble Broadway
1994 Carousel Various Characters Broadway
1994 Public Enemy Davey Boyd Off-Broadway
1995 Follies Young Buddy Regional
1996 Floyd Collins Clif Roney/Reporter Off-Broadway
1997 Titanic Frederick Barrett Broadway
1998 Chess Freddie NY Concert
1998 Kelly Kelly Off-Off-Broadway
2000 The Wild Party Burrs Off-Broadway
2002 Sweet Smell of Success Sidney Broadway
2003 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddie Reading
2003 Harmony Performer Regional
2004 Pardon My English Gob Schmidt Off-Broadway
2004 White Christmas Bob Wallace Regional
2005 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddie Broadway
2005 Children and Art Performer Broadway
2005 Flight Reporter Off-Broadway
2005 White Christmas Bob Wallace Boston
2006 The Lieutenant of Inishmore Brendan Off-Broadway
2006 Young Frankenstein Frederick Workshop
2006 The Apple Tree Various Characters Broadway
2007 White Christmas Bob Wallace Boston
2008 Next to Normal Dan Goodman Off-Broadway
2008 Port Authority Dermont Off-Broadway
2008 Shrek the Musical Shrek Broadway
2009 Next to Normal Dan Goodman Broadway
2010 Time Stands Still James Dodd Broadway
2012 Giant Bick Off-Broadway
2013 Macbeth Banquo Broadway
2015 Hamilton King George III Off-Broadway
2015 Something Rotten! Nick Bottom Broadway

Other Credits[edit]


  • Something Rotten! [Original Broadway Cast]
  • Shrek the Musical [Original Broadway Cast]
  • White Christmas [Original Broadway Cast]
  • The Man Who Would Be King
  • From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn
  • Michigan Christmas Solo CD Single
  • Sweet Smell of Success [Original Broadway Cast]
  • The Wild Party [Original Off-Broadway Cast]
  • Titanic [Original Broadway Cast]
  • Dream True World Premiere Recording
  • Brownstone [Studio Cast]
  • The Maury Yeston Compilation
  • Jonathan Franzen's How to Be Alone
  • Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens New York
  • The Stephen Schwartz Album [Studio Cast]
  • Myths and Hymns [Off-Broadway Original Cast]
  • Violet [Off-Broadway Original Cast]
  • Far From the Madding Crowd [Studio Cast]
  • The Civil War [Studio Concept Cast]
  • The Stephen Sondheim Album [Studio Cast]
  • Floyd Collins [Original Cast]
  • Carousel [Revival Cast]



Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2000 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical The Wild Party Nominated
2001 Outstanding Solo Performance The Good Thief Nominated
2002 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Sweet Smell of Success Nominated
Drama Desk Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2006 Audience Award Best Featured Actor in a Play The Lieutenant of Inishmore Nominated
2007 Best Onstage Pair (w/ Kristin Chenoweth The Apple Tree Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Port Authority Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Musical Shrek the Musical Won
Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Daniel Breaker) Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Sutton Foster Nominated
2010 Grammy Award Best Musical Theatre Album Nominated Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Time Stands Still Won
2011 Favorite Replacement Next to Normal Nominated
2012 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Giant Nominated
2015 Outstanding Actor in a Musical Something Rotten! Nominated
Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hamilton Nominated


  1. ^ Photo Flash: 'Next to Normal', Retrieved April 30, 2013
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "James, Gregory II and Tartaglia Set for Broadway's 'Shrek'"
  4. ^ "Billy Elliot, Carnage, Ruined and Avenger Are Outer Critics Circle Award Winners"
  5. ^ " 'Ruined' and 'Billy Elliot' Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards
  6. ^ "Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; 'Billy Elliot' Earns 15 Nominations"
  7. ^ "Crawford Will Be Shrek This Fall on Broadway; Tix on Sale Through May 2010"
  8. ^ "James Joins Linney and Silverstone in Broadway's 'Time Stands Still'"
  9. ^ " 'TIME STANDS STILL Closes March 27 at MTC", 2010
  10. ^ 2010 " Audience Award Winners", 2010
  11. ^ It's Time for Brian d'Arcy James to Thank Fans for His 2010 Audience Award
  12. ^ "Brian d'Arcy James Will Rejoin 'Normal' Cast in May"
  13. ^ "Married Couple Mazzie & Danieley Take Over in NEXT TO NORMAL 7/19"
  14. ^ Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Brian d'Arcy James and More to Perform Broadway Celebration at White House
  15. ^ [2], 2010
  16. ^ Brian d'Arcy James Joins Cast of "Smash" Musical Pilot
  17. ^ Breaking News: NBC Picks Up Broadway-themed SMASH
  18. ^ A Show Just for Us: "Smash," Starry New Drama Series About the Making of a Musical, Debuts on NBC
  19. ^ 'Smash' Shakeup: Four Stars Axed From Second Season
  20. ^ UPDATED: Brian d'Arcy James, Will Chase, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey Not Returning as Regulars on SMASH
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ "Brooke Shields and Brian D'Arcy James Will Host Drama Desk Awards"
  23. ^ "Brian d'Arcy James, Kate Baldwin, Bobby Steggert, Michele Pawk to Lead Public Theater's GIANT- Full Cast Announced!", September 10, 2012
  24. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'Giant', Starring Kate Baldwin, Brian D'Arcy James and P.J. Griffith, Gets Extension at Public Theater", November 25, 2012
  25. ^ "Nominations Announced for 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards; Giant and Hands on a Hardbody Lead the Pack", Retrieved April 29, 2013
  26. ^ "2013 Drama League Nominations Announced -- KINKY BOOTS, PIPPIN & More Lead with 3!", Retrieved April 30, 2013
  27. ^ "29TH BIRTHDAY GALA"
  28. ^ "Brian d'Arcy James, Malcolm Gets and More to Join Ethan Hawke in LCT's 'Macbeth'; Cast Announced!", Retrieved September 4, 2013
  29. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'Something Rotten!' Puts a Shakespearean Twist On Broadway Musical Comedy, Starting Tonight", March 23, 2015
  30. ^ Profile at
  31. ^ "Today I'm thinking of my grandfather Harry F. Kelly.". Twitter. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]