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Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr is set to make his Broadway debut with McNeal, a new play by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar.

Downey Jr, who recently won his maiden Oscar trophy for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer (2023), will play the titular author in the play, which is being staged by Broadway giant Lincoln Center Theater at its Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Directed by Bartlett Sher, McNeal is described as a “startling and wickedly smart examination of the inescapable humanity and increasing inhumanity of the stories we tell”, according to a press release by Lincoln Center Theater. “Good writers borrow, great writers steal. Jacob McNeal (Downey Jr) is a great writer, one of our greatest, a perpetual candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. But McNeal also has an estranged son, a new novel, old axes to grind, and an unhealthy fascination with Artificial Intelligence,” the official synopsis read. Downey Jr will also produce the stage show through his banner, Team Downey in collaboration, with Lincoln Center Theater.

McNeal will begin previews on September 5, and will play a strictly limited engagement from September 30 to November 24. Downey Jr currently stars in HBO’s  miniseries, The Sympathizer, an adaptation of author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title.

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