Grant will play Jacob opposite Shucked’s Isabelle McCalla as Marlena.
Entertainment Weekly: Broadway is about to get a little flashier.
EW can exclusively announce that Grant Gustin, best known to audiences as Barry Allen on the CW’s The Flash and villainous Warbler Sebastian on Glee, will make his Broadway debut this spring in a new musical adaptation of Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel Water for Elephants.
Gustin will star as Jacob opposite Isabelle McCalla (The Prom, Shucked) as Marlena. The cast will also feature Gregg Edelman as Mr. Jankowski, Paul Alexander Nolan as August, Stan Brown as Camel, Joe De Paul as Walter, Sara Gettelfinger as Barbara, and Wade McCollum as Wade.
“This was my original dream as a kid,” Gustin tells EW of making his Broadway debut. “I started tap dancing first as an 8-year-old and then theater at 10, and this is where I always wanted to be. It’s very surreal and exciting and terrifying and all the appropriate emotions. I’m beyond thrilled to join the company. I can’t wait to start rehearsals and meet everybody and get on stage again.”
With a book from Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) and a score from PigPen Theater Company, Water for Elephants follows the story of Jacob Jankoswki (Gustin), as he remembers his life from a nursing home in old age. As a young man, Jacob, an aspiring veterinarian hops a train, which turns out to be a circus train. There, he befriends Camel (Brown), who gets him a job with the circus, and finds a life beyond his wildest dreams with the cruel animal trainer August and his beautiful wife and circus performer, Marlena (McCalla), whom Jacob falls for.
“Ever since my first table read, I knew this adaptation of Water for Elephants was beyond special,” McCalla says. “The circus artistry is astounding and the score by Pig Pen Theatre Co. is electric. More than that, I was deeply moved by the rich characters who struggle to define their place in a world that has abandoned them. And ever since that first day, I had this gut instinct that I needed to do everything I possibly could to bring Marlena to life on Broadway. She’s intuitive, loving, resilient, and manages to break free from her abusive husband and take her life back. It’s the role of a lifetime!”
Previews for Water for Elephants begin Feb. 24 before opening night on March 21 at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre.
Watch the music video of “Wild” from the show above and read more from Gustin below.