Harry Potter's Rupert Grint joins stellar cast in Broadway play

British actor Rupert Grint, best known as wizard Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise, makes his Broadway debut as a young, wunderkind director alongside a stellar ensemble cast in the show business comedy, It's Only a Play.

The play, which begins previews on Aug 28 and opens for a limited run on Oct 9, sports a notable cast headed by Tony winners Nathan Lane (The Producers), Matthew Broderick (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and Stockard Channing (A Day in the Life of Joe Egg).

F. Murray Abraham, who picked up a best actor Oscar for Amadeus, plays an infamous drama critic named Ira Drew and Emmy winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) is Broadway producer Julia Budder.

"It's hard not to be overwhelmed when we're rehearsing," Grint, 25, said about his cast mates. "It's quite exhausting trying to keep up with them."

(L-R) Nathan Lane, Micah Stock, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint and Matthew Broderick are the cast of the new play, It's Only A Play Photo: AFP

The fly-on-the-wall comedy is set at an opening night party of a new play, The Golden Egg, as its director Frank Finger (Grint) and the playwright, cast, producer and friends await reviews to see if it's a hit.

"He's a very complicated, deeply troubled man. So it's something I've always wanted to try," said Grint, who admitted it was scary leaving the bumbling Ron Weasley character he portrayed in the Harry Potter films for so long.

Multiple Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (Ragtime, Master Class) did a substantial rewrite of the 1986 play, inserting contemporary references to update it.

McNally said he has been working on "It's Only a Play" all of his life and it has had many manifestations. He got the idea for the comedy on the opening night of another play that starred Abraham.

"This is the right group to do this play at this time," he said. - Reuters