The Lord of the Rings star will play the male lead, while black actress Condola Rashad will portray his star-crossed lover, adding a racial twist to the tale.
Director David Leveaux tells the Associated Press, "The last thing we wanted to do was to do a sort of pompous, classic version of Romeo and Juliet. I'm just taking away all the wallpaper and mantelpieces, all the kind of pompous stuff we associate with grand Shakespeare productions, and try to go as simple as possible."
The production will begin previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 24 August (13).
Romeo and Juliet was last staged on Broadway in 1977.