THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 21-27: Closing Night Comes for Follies and The Mountaintop; Wit Opens on Broadway

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 21-27: Closing Night Comes for Follies and The Mountaintop; Wit Opens on Broadway Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Follies is "Still Here" for only a little while longer… Elizabeth Reaser and Norbert Leo Butz Learn to Drive… and In the Heights' Christopher Jackson trades in Washington Heights for Memphis.
Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters Photo by Joan Marcus

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Saturday, January 21
LAST CHANCE→ Eric Comstock, Christopher Gines and Hilary Kole celebrate the music of Frank Sinatra with Our Sinatra. In the long-running show, playing a limited engagement at Feinstein's, the trio takes on 50 songs from the Chairman of the Board's songbook of hits, including "Fly Me To The Moon," "Night and Day," "One for My Baby" and "My Kind of Town." (Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St., info/tickets.)

Sunday, January 22
LAST CHANCE→ Follies, Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's hauntingly beautiful musical about aging chorus girls and love lost, ends its critically acclaimed Broadway run. A chance to hear the classic Sondheim tunes performed to perfection by Bernadette Peters ("In Buddy's Eyes," "Losing My Mind"), Jan Maxwell ("Could I Leave You?"), Danny Burstein ("The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues"), Ron Raines ("Live, Laugh, Love"), Elaine Paige ("I'm Still Here") and Jayne Houdyshell ("Broadway Baby") is not to be passed up. The production with almost the entire cast (with the addition of Victoria Clark stepping in for Peters) will transfer to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles come May. (Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway at 46th St., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Samuel L. Jackson in The Mountaintop.
photo by Joan Marcus

LAST CHANCE→ Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett relive the final hours of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s extraordinary life in Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning fantasy drama The Mountaintop. Directed by Kenny Leon. (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ "Glee" star Darren Criss dons the famous Finch bowtie for one last performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Succeeding Criss on Jan. 24 will be Nick Jonas. Also joining Jonas on the 24th is new cast member Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”) playing the annoyingly under eager beaver of the World Wide Wicket Company, Bud Frump. (Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W 45th St, btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) Monday, January 23
GO→ Playbill's own Seth Rudetsky's first YA novel "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan" will be released by Random House this week, with Rudetsky and some starry friends — including Broadway favorites Kerry Butler (Catch Me If You Can), Tony nominee Rory O'Malley (Book of Mormon) and Matt Cavenaugh (West Side Story) — assembling for a reading in NYC. Our columnist and video correspondent is mighty busy these days: this week, his new musical Disaster!, based on 1970s disaster movies, opens Off-Broadway at the Triad NYC. The show will play on Sundays through Feb. 26. (7 PM, Barnes & Noble, 150 E. 86th St., btwn. 3rd & Lexington, info.)

Tuesday, January 24
CASTING→ The caramel-like voice that oozes out of Christopher Jackson (In the Heights) will sweeten the rockin' score of Memphis when Jackson assumes the role of Delray, the owner of a Memphis bar where popular rock 'n' roll music is born. Jackson will play the role through Feb. 28, when original star J. Bernard Calloway will return. (Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Norbert Leo Butz

PREVIEWS→ Elizabeth Reaser and two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz star in the Off-Broadway revival of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama How I Learned to Drive. In Drive, Lil' Bit (Reaser) recalls the harrowing lessons she learned (and how her life was driven horribly off course) as a result of afternoons spent under the tutelage of her alcoholic Uncle (Butz). (Second Stage, 305 W. 43rd St., corner of 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Feb. 13.)

GO→ The team from Sister Act brings some funk to the 92 Street Y! Tony and Olivier Award nominated star Patina Miller joins her Tony nominated co-star Carolee Carmello (who recently assumed the role of Mother Superior from Victoria Clark) and four-time Tony Award winning-director Jerry Zaks to discuss the creation of, and perform numbers from, the popular disco- and funk-flavored musical. Time Out New York theatre critic Adam Feldman moderates. (12 PM, 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St., at Vestry St., $18, info/tickets.)

Wednesday, January 25
PREVIEWS→ Former New York Times staffer-turned-playwright Gabe McKinley (brother of Times San Francisco bureau chief Jesse McKinley and Times culture reporter James McKinley) debuts CQ/CX, a new play based on the 2003 Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal that plagued the broadsheet. The play derives its name from the term used by editors when fact checking an article. Directed by five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux. Presented by the Atlantic Theater Company. (Peter Norton Space, 555 W. 42nd St., btwn. 10th & 11th Aves., Info/tickets. Officially opens Feb. 15.)

Thursday, January 26
OPENING→ Emmy and Tony winner Cynthia Nixon stars in the Broadway premiere of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. Nixon plays the brilliant, tough-as-nails poetry professor Dr. Vivian Bearing, who is undergoing treatment for terminal ovarian cancer. (Though March 11, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, January 27
GO→ Tony nominee Alec Baldwin returns to Buffalo for the aptly-titled fundraiser The Return of Alec Baldwin. Baldwin, along with 11 western New York-area actors, will read from Clifford Odets' 1949 play about the days of Hollywood contract players, The Big Knife. Proceeds from the staged reading will benefit the not-for-profit theatre company Road Less Traveled Productions. (8 PM, CFA Drama Theatre, 103 Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo, info/tickets.)

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

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