THE WEEK AHEAD March 7-13: Helen Mirren Has a Royal Broadway Opening, and London Readies for Olivier Nominations

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD March 7-13: Helen Mirren Has a Royal Broadway Opening, and London Readies for Olivier Nominations Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that An American in Paris is in America… Helen Mirren is British royalty… Kelli O'Hara visits Rodgers & Hammerstein's Siam… and Sarah Brightman in space?

A worldly WEEK AHEAD awaits you!

Saturday, March 7
OPENING→ The Stephen Schwartz-Joseph Stein musical The Baker's Wife, which features the famous ballad "Meadowlark," gets a rare New York staging courtesy of Brooklyn's Gallery Players. (Gallery Players, 199 14th St., Brooklyn. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, March 8
OPENING→ Helen Mirren returns to the throne with another pass at Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. Mirren first played the famous royal in her Oscar-winning performance in the 2006 film "The Queen." Peter Morgan's stage drama imagines private meetings the Queen had with the many prime ministers who have served during her reign. Read Playbill.com's interview with Mirren, about returning to the royal throne, here. (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45 St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren Photo by Joan Marcus

Monday, March 9
WATCH→ Nominations for London's top theatre prize, the Olivier Awards, are live streamed stateside in a partnership with Broadway's highest honor, the Tony Awards. 2014 Olivier winner Lesley Manville and James McAvoy, currently starring in The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios, make the announcements. (8 AM EST. Info.)

Tuesday, March 10
WEIRD NEWS→ The Phantom of the Opera star Sarah Brightman has some out of this world news (literally) for all of us. Brightman has paid $52 million to ride the Russian Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station. (Info.) Wednesday, March 11
OPENING (Chicago)→ The First Wives Club becomes a musical with Tony Award winner Faith Prince, Carmen Cusack and Christine Sherrill starring as the three divorcees who plot revenge on their no-good exes. The musicalized version of the fun 1996 film features a blend of original songs and classic hits by Motown legends Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, including "Reach Out…I'll Be There," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." (Oriental Theatre, 24 Randolph St., Chicago. Info/tickets.)

GO→ Erin Davie, Santino Fontana, Cheyenne Jackson, Taylor Mac, Lindsay Mendez and more sing the songs of songwriter Ben Toth in an evening of his music for Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. Toth has an impressive resume that includes working with singers Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, and fellow storytellers John Patrick Shanley and Todd Almond. (8 PM, Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 W. 65th St., 10th Fl. Info/tickets.)

Kelli O'Hara and Bartlett Sher
Kelli O'Hara and Bartlett Sher Paul Kolnik

Thursday, March 12
PREVIEWS→ Kelli O'Hara returns to the Beaumont stage for another grand revival from Rodgers & Hammerstein, The King and I. O'Hara takes on the role of Welsh schoolteacher Anna who travels from England to Siam to serve as governess to the king's many children. Read about Kelli and director Bartlett Sher's years of working together here. Kelli's king is Oscar-nominated "The Last Samurai" actor, Ken Watanabe. Officially opens April 16. (Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St., btwn. Amsterdam and Columbus Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, March 13
GO→ Broadway's golden girl, two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, makes her Carnegie Hall solo debut with a one-night-only concert with the New York Pops. The Violet, Anything Goes, Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie star will share the stage with former co-stars Joshua Henry (Violet) and Megan McGinnis (Little Women). (8 PM, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., at 57th St. Info/tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ With a stunning Gershwin score that includes classics like "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You" and "S'Wonderful" and a pedigree that includes Gene Kelly and Vincente Minnelli, An American in Paris the musical comes to Broadway direct from the Théâtre du Châtelet in its namesake town. New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild takes on the Kelly role of Jerry, a WWII vet who falls for a Parisian shop girl (British ballerina Leanne Cope) in newly liberated France. Officially opens April 12. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway, at 47th St. Info/tickets.)

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