THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 25-March 2: Cult Musical Carrie Opens; Superstar and Once Begin on Broadway

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 25-March 2: Cult Musical Carrie Opens; Superstar and Once Begin on Broadway Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that love is in the air at OnceLove Never Dies (on film, at least)… and there's a new Passion for Jesus Christ Superstar. After a week of school break, you must be longing for some adult-friendly fare. The WEEK AHEAD is here for date-night ideas!
Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole

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Saturday, February 25
LAST CHANCE→ Two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole wraps up her latest Café Carlyle engagement after a three-and-a-half-week run. Ebersole once again teams up with director Scott Wittman and musical director John Oddo to string together an eclectic mix of tunes culled from the songbooks of Gershwin, Porter and Coward to depict the end of the world as she knows it. When Ebersole sings "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," she really does exemplify the lyric "life is but a dream." (Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave. Info/tickets or call 212-744-1600.)

Sunday, February 26
LAST CHANCE→ Lydia Diamond's family comedy Stick Fly — starring Tony winner Ruben Santiago Hudson, Tracie Thoms, Dulé Hill, Mekhi Phifer, Rosie Benton, and an standout Broadway debut performance by Condola Rashad — plays its last Broadway performance. Diamond's comedy, directed by Kenny Leon and interspersed with music by the play's producer, Alicia Keys, explores the hidden secrets and buried feelings that come to light during an affluent family's vacation at their family compound on Martha's Vineyard. (Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, February 27
OPENING→ Olivier Award winner Katori Hall follows a splashy Broadway premiere (The Mountaintop) with the Off-Broadway debut of Hurt Village. Tony winner Tonya Pinkins stars as Big Mama, the grand matriarch of a very colorful family (that includes a 13-year-old aspiring rapper named Cookie, her mother Crank, and Iraqi war vet father Buggy) all of whom reside in a Memphis housing project. (Pershing Square Signature Center's Linney Courtyard Theater, 480 W. 42nd St., btwn. Dyer and 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Steve Kazee in Once.
photo by Joan Marcus

Tuesday, February 28
PREVIEWS→ The love story between an Irish busker (Steve Kazee) and a Czech immigrant (Cristin Milioti) is set to the beautiful music of Oscar winners Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the stage adaptation of Once. This marks the Broadway bow for the folk musical, which features a talented instrument-playing cast and an onstage bar. It's also a great date show! (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens March 18.) GO→ American audiences will finally get to see what London and Australia have been buzzing about when Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, arrives in movie theatres. This taped version reflects the production put up at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne (that featured extensive changes after a lukewarm London reception) and stars Ben Lewis as The Phantom and Anna O'Byrne as Christine Daaé. (Repeat showing March 7, in movie theatres nationwide. Click here for times/locations near you.)

Wednesday, February 29
GO→ Michael Feinstein celebrates the music of the vaudeville era with the next installment of his Standard Time series at Carnegie Hall. For After The Ball: Tin Pan Alley 1891-1911, Feinstein is joined by Tony nominee Kate Baldwin, pianist Rob Berman, and 19-year-old wunderkind, pianist Adam Swanson. The next installment in the series, on March 21, will feature Ron Raines and Joyce Breach. (7:30 PM, Zankel Hall, 881 7th Ave., at 57th St., info/tickets.)

Josh Young in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Photo by David Hou

Thursday, March 1
PREVIEWS→ Des McAnuff's production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which premiered at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2011, was so great that Andrew Lloyd Webber professed the following in an upcoming issue of Playbill: "I've never really been happy with it before. Now Des has got it absolutely right." This gritty new production hits Broadway with much of its Stratford cast intact, including Paul Nolan
as Jesus and Josh Young as Judas. (Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens March 22.)

OPENING→ Talk about a comeback! After notoriously bombing on Broadway in 1988, Carrie, the musical based on the hit Stephen King novel and subsequent film, makes a much-talked-about return to the New York stage. Molly Ranson stars as the titular character that exacts revenge on her high school classmates after realizing she possesses telekinetic powers. Marin Mazzie co-stars as her psychotic religious-zealot of a mother. (Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., btwn. Hudson & Bleecker Sts. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, March 2
LAST CHANCE→ Former Playbill cabaret scribe and Obie Award-winning playwright/performer David Drake (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me) presents Tawny Valentine. The new drag tragicomedy follows the heroine Tawny Heatherton, "a lovably eccentric showbiz survivor and 'one-hit wonder' of the disco zeitgeist of the early 1980s." (7:30 PM, The Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 W. 42nd St., at 9th Ave. $20 plus food/drink min. Info/tickets or call 212-352-3101.)

Blake Ross is the editor of Playbill magazine. Follow her on Twitter @PlaybillBlake.

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