Irish actor Chris O’Dowd made his Broadway debut as the mentally disabled migrant Lennie Small in the dramatisation of John Steinbeck’s 1937 novella Of Mice and Men at the Longacre Theater in March 2014. He teamed up with fellow Great White Way debutant James Franco, who played the distressed George. Both characters are displaced ranch workers during the Great Depession in California.
For the limited 18 week season Chris was nominated for a Tony Award. Tim Wickens four star review in The Telegraph says, “loose-limbed and lumbering, O’Dowd is a revelation as Lennie – a giant of a man left childlike and painfully innocent by a head injury suffered in his youth”.
Sending sketches to Broadway Theatres can be a bit hit and miss, especially if you want multiple cast members to sign it. I did send one of Chris and James and Leighton Meester to the Longacre, but nothing came back so I drew one of Chris as Lennie and hoped to get him to sign it in person in London when he was promoting his latest Moone Boy book at Waterstones. But as the saying goes (and the basis for the play; the best laid plans of mice and men went astray. In the end I sent it to his agent with better success.