Katie Holmes is actually a live actor!

Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images / Jan. 9, 2008

It’s true! Katie Holmes isn’t just a pretty, skinny Victoria Beckham-wannabe clothes horse; nor is she simply a trophy wife capable of possibly giving birth to her movie star husband’s adorable progeny.

No, it turns out that Katie Holmes is actually a three-dimensional acting person. How do we know this? She’s doing what most failed movie actresses do when their managers tell them it’s time for an image improvement.

She’s going to Broadway.

As had been rumored for a while, Holmes will make her Broadway debut in a revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 drama All My Sons.

So let me just make sure I’ve got everything straight here. Great play about a manufacturer whose greedy sloppiness may have cost American soldiers’ lives — check. Great, capable actors — Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow and Patrick Wilson, check. Presence of Tom Cruise’s wife, whose theater chops are completely untested — check. Now don’t get me wrong. Back in the day I was a huge “Dawson’s Creek” fan, watched every episode and developed some affection for the young Ms. Holmes, whose gawky charm was just right for her character, Joey Potter. But it takes a giant leap of imagination to see that kind of small-screen acting translating well to the stage. In her checkered movie career, Holmes actually registerd in Pieces of April, though my favorite of her movie roles is in Sam Raimi’s 2000 The Gift. That’s the Holmes I’d like to see on stage.

The Simon McBurney-directed All My Sons will bow later this fall. Theater tbd.

It’s probably not at all surprising that Holmes’ jump to the stage follows two things: a flop movie (Mad Money alongside Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah) and Jennifer Garner’s successful stint in Cyrano opposite Kevin Kline. All those tabloid shots of the grinning Garner and hubby Ben Affleck playing in New York parks with daughter Violet were probably more than Holmes could stand: credibility and maximum exposure.

K-K-K-Katie Holmes on Broadway, `Tales’ in tune

Yes, Katie Holmes, late of Dawson’s Creek, she of the couch-jumping husband, the ever-changing cute hairdos and the impossibly adorable Suri parentage, is being rumored to be heading to Broadway for a revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring John Lithgow and Dianne Weist. Ms. Holmes must have had a conversation with Jennifer Garner, who had such a winning run on Broadway recently in Cyrano. And Holmes’ husband, Tom Cruise, must have had a man-to-man chat with Garner’s husband, Ben Affleck, about what it’s like to be a stay-at-home dad in paparazzi-infested New York.

Variety says the 29-year-old Holmes is in negotiation for the 1947 show, which would mark her Broadway debut. The stage run would also give Ms. Holmes a little much-needed acting cred. Her most recent big-screen turn, opposite Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah in Mad Money didn’t exactly generate Oscar buzz.

In other news of the Great White Way (via Barbaray Lane in San Francisco), the long-rumored musical version of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City looks like it’s finally rolling toward completion. It was long rumored that pop wunderkind Rufus Wainwright was going to turn Maupin’s beloved Baghdad by the Bay book into a musical, but now he’s off writing an opera for the MET.

So now it’s up to Jeff Whitty (Tony Award-winning book writerfor Avenue Q) and Scissor Sisters members Jason Sellards (aka Jake Shears, composer/lyricist) and John Garden (composer) to bring characters Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, Anna Madrigal, Mary Anne Singleton to the Broadway stage.

Jason Moore, who helmed Avenue Q and the upcoming Shrek musical, is slated to direct.

Seems a natural that a Tales musical would have its pre-Broadway run in — where else? — San Francisco. No word yet on such practical things as production dates.