EW looks at American actors on the London stage -- Val Kilmer, David Schwimmer, and Kevin Spacey are burning up the boards across the Atlantic

By Mark Shenton
Updated June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Actors have long sought legitimacy on Broadway (hello, P. Diddy!), but lately, an increasing number of big-name American stars are hearing London calling. Here’s a look at three leading men who are currently burning up the boards across the Atlantic.

THE SHOW The Postman Always Rings Twice (Playhouse Theatre, to July 30) THE ROLE A drifter who seduces a café proprietor’s wife, then plots with her to murder her hubby. THE RAVE Kilmer ”delivers a splendid, unstarry, unselfish performance” (Nick Curtis, Evening Standard). THE RANT ”He has all the stage presence of a damp tea towel” (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian).

THE SHOW Some Girl(s) (Gielgud Theatre, to Aug. 13) THE ROLE A husband-to-be who visits four exes to make amends. THE RAVE ”He is handsome and charming, just as he was in Friends” (Quentin Letts, Daily Mail). THE RANT ”His line readings suggest a severely dampened-down Woody Allen” (Matt Wolf, Daily Variety).

THE SHOW The Philadelphia Story (Old Vic Theatre, to Sept. 3, excluding June 20-Aug. 6) THE ROLE Society lounge lizard C.K. Dexter Haven. THE RAVE Spacey ”reminded me of Jack Benny. . .the same dapper precision, mocking smile and immaculate comic timing” (Michael Billington, The Guardian). THE RANT ”There is always something faintly reptilian about him” (Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph).