SAGINAW, MI — A Broadway star gave a shout-out to Saginaw-baked bread in a social media post leading up to his latest trip to the Tony Awards.
Brian d’Arcy James, a Saginaw Township native with a Broadway and Hollywood career, earlier this month named Saginaw-based Spatz’s Bakery bread as his favorite variety in an Instagram post.
The endorsement was part of a message posted in advance of his trip to the Sunday, June 11, Tony Awards. He was a nominee in the category for actors in the leading role of a musical. He performed in a production of “Into the Woods” at St. James Theatre in New York City.
His character was a baker, and in an Instagram post tying the role to his love of baked goods, he made sure to compliment the real-life bread beloved in his home community.
“Get toasted” is a marketing tagline used by the 1854-established Spatz’s Bakery, 1120 State in Saginaw.
The Instagram post received nearly 4,000 “likes” from his nearly 70,000 followers.
When one of those followers responded to the post by informing him she could not fit a Spatz’s Bakery bread into her carry-on luggage, James replied, “Unforgivable.”
James, a 1986 graduate of Nouvel Catholic Central High School in Saginaw Township, is no stranger to Tony Awards.
The 54-year-old was introduced to much of the performing arts world via Broadway while playing the titular character in “Shrek the Musical” from 2008-09, when he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. The performance later was captured for a feature-length film available now on Netflix.
Playing Shrek earned him the second of four Tony Award nominations for leading actor in a musical. The first was for “Sweet Smell of Success” in 2002. He also received a nomination for “Something Rotten!” in 2015 before his 2023 nomination in “Into the Woods.”
His on-stage résumé also includes serving as an original cast member of “Hamilton,” playing King George III.
Perhaps his most notable movie role to date was in “Spotlight,” which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards after its release in 2015. He portrayed real-life Boston Globe reporter Matt Carroll in the drama about a team of journalists uncovering a community scandal.
Most recently, on the small screen, he played a supporting role in the HBO Max mini-series, “Love & Death,” which was streamed online in the spring.
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