THE WEEK AHEAD, May 5-11: Broadway's Seminar Ends; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, With Megan Hilty, Begins

By Blake Ross
05 May 2012

Harriet Harris
Harriet Harris

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that the book closes on Seminar… Topher Grace takes to the stage… the prodigal son returns to the Desert… and "Smash" star Megan Hilty fulfills her Marilyn wish in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. May flowers are blooming all over the place this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, May 5
GO→ Celebrate the music of two 20th Century musical masters, Noël Coward and Cole Porter, with Mad Dogs & Educated Fleas: Noël Corward and Cole Porter, A Battle of Wits. Participating in the evening of verbal swordplay will be Tony winner Harriet Harris, La Tanya Hall, Edward Hibbert, T. Oliver Reid and Colleen McHugh. Directed by Mark Waldrop. (Through May 7, 92StY, Lexington Ave. and 92nd St., info/tickets.)

Sunday, May 6
LAST CHANCE→ Seminar, Theresa Rebeck's biting new comedy about a group of writing students and their Machiavellian editor-mentor, will play its last performance on Broadway. The current cast features Jeff Goldblum as the acerbic Leonard, who guides four aspiring writers (played by Justin Long, Zoe Lister-Jones, Jerry O'Connell and Hettienne Park) down a dark and twisted path toward becoming better novelists but, perhaps, worse people. (Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Topher Grace
photo by Joan Marcus



Monday, May 7
OPENING→ "That '70s Show" alum Topher Grace makes his New York stage debut with Paul Weitz's Lonely, I'm Not. Grace plays Porter, a young corporate "ninja" who suffers from a nervous breakdown only to find a young woman (Olivia Thirlby) who helps him find his way back to sanity. Also starring Christopher Jackson, Mark Blum, Lisa Emery and Maureen Sebastian. Directed by Trip Cullman. (Second Stage, 305 W. 43rd St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO (FREE)→ I'll be moderating a rock star Creative Week writing panel with three of Broadway's most innovative writers: In the Heights' Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jersey Boys and Peter and the Starcatcher's Rick Elice and Addams Family and Wild Party scribe Andrew Lippa. (Noon-1 PM, City Winery, 155 Varick St., btwn. Spring and Vandam Sts. A limited number of free tickets are available, email bross@playbill.com for passes, info.)

Tuesday, May 8
GO→ The Tony-nominated production of the family drama Other Desert Cities welcomes back original cast member Thomas Sadoski. Sadoski took leave from the acclaimed production to film the new Aaron Sorkin series "The Newsroom." Sadoski rejoins the Wyeth clan that originally premiered the show in 2011 at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse theatre — Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Elizabeth Marvel — plus Judith Light, who joined the show for its current Broadway run. The play scored five 2012 Tony Award nominations including one for Jon Robin Baitz for Best Play. (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Rachel York and Megan Hilty
Photo by Joan Marcus

Wednesday, May 9
GO→ Encores! brings back the Jule Styne and Leo Robin musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Megan Hilty playing the "Little Girl From Little Rock," Lorelei Lee, and Rachel York as Lorelei's best pal, Dorothy Shaw. Fans of "Smash" will no doubt appreciate the meta moment watching Hilty take on the role made famous on screen by Marilyn Monroe. (Through May 13, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.)

GO (FREE)→ The one and only Liza Minnelli will make an appearance at a Manhattan store to promote her newest album "Liza Minnelli: Live at the Winter Garden." The disc includes performances from Minnelli's famous January 1974 Broadway show", directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, as well as never-before-heard bonus tracks. Click here to see the Playbill from that original production. (Noon-1 PM, Barnes & Noble, 555 5th Ave., at E. 46th St., info.)

Thursday, May 10
LISTEN→ Broadway favorite and "30 Rock" star Cheyenne Jackson will release his first music video, "Drive," on iTunes and on YouTube. The full album is expected in the summer. (Info.)

Friday, May 11
LAST CHANCE→ Before All That Glitters, the musical depicting the life of Liberace, hits Broadway in April 2013, the producers have opened up the workshop to a few members of the general public. A trio of actors portrays the famously ostentatious pianist/showman through his beginnings as a child prodigy to the man who swept Las Vegas in the 1960s and '70s. Created and directed by Alexander DeJong. Costumes by (who else?) the maestro of sequins, Bob Mackie. (Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W. 37th St. Those interested in attending the workshop should e-mail TheJacksinaCo@mindspring.com.)

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

Jeff Goldblum and cast talk Seminar: