After Julia, 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' on Broadway

Hot on the heels of Julia Roberts' Broadway debut, other stars have turned the Great White Way into Hollywood Boulevard.

MTV's '80s-era video queen Cyndi Lauper makes her Broadway debut tonight as Pirate Jenny in a revival of "The Threepenny Opera."

Other stars adding luster to the New York stage include David Schwimmer in "The Cane Mutiny Court Martial," Ralph Fiennes in "Faith Healer," Harry Connick Jr. in "The Pajama Game," and Ali MacGraw and Julianna Margulis in "Festen."

Broadway producers have always wanted a bankable name to sparkle on their marquees, but Roberts' big splash -- despite mixed reviews for "Three Days of Rain" -- is astounding. Its initial 12-week run is mostly sold-out, with 101 percent of the theater set to be filled for the first two weeks (that extra 1 percent is for the standing-room-only crowd).

'Mack the Knife' Still Cuts to the Heart

Lauper insists she's not hitting the stage because it's become a trend among celebs. Rather, she tells ABC News Radio, she just loves the material and believes it's right for her.

"They don't always do 'Threepenny Opera,'" she says. "Listen, if they were doing 'South Pacific' and they had asked me to be Bloody Mary, I'd love it, but they'll never do that."

After building a reputation on hits like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," the steamy and controversial "She Bop" and the ballad "Time After Time," Lauper believes she can help bring some humanity to "Threepenny Opera's" rogue's gallery of murderers, thieves and prostitutes.

"Jenny's a human being, and a person who found herself in a circumstance, and like most people, you either survive or you don't. Jenny's a survivor."

Best known for "The Ballad of Mack the Knife," the tune Bobby Darin turned into his signature hit, "The Threepenny Opera" was originally staged in 1928 in Berlin. In his recent autobiography, Bob Dylan hailed "Pirate Jenny" -- the theme song for Lauper's character -- a masterpiece that strongly influenced his songwriting.

"These songs are magical because they have an other-worldly feel to them, and in every human being there's an other-worldly presence," Lauper says. "You hook into that, and that creates an energy in the room that you could cut with a knife."

ABC New Radio's Bill Diehl and ABCNEWS.com's Buck Wolf contributed to this report.

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