THE WEEK AHEAD, July 7-13: Bring It On Bounces to Broadway; The Columnist and Anything Goes Set Sail

By Blake Ross
07 Jul 2012

Stephanie J. Block in Anything Goes.
Stephanie J. Block in Anything Goes.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that the S.S. American leaves its Broadway port… John Lithgow says goodbye to Alsop… Bring It On flips onto Broadway… and everybody says, "Yea, Yea" for Fela!'s return. What better way to escape a heat wave than with these theatrical WEEK AHEAD happenings?!

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Saturday, July 7
LAST CHANCE→ Three-time Tony nominee Rebecca Luker pays homage to the songs of indelible composer Jerome Kern in her two-night engagement at 54 Below. Luker promises 30 years of Kern's greatest hits including his collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein II (Show Boat, Sweet Adeline and Sunny) and his film songs with Dorothy Fields ("Roberta" and "Swing Time"). (54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

Sunday, July 8
LAST CHANCE →The Tony-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes sails off into the sunset. The current cast stars Stephanie J. Block as the brassy nightclub singer, Reno Sweeny, and Joel Grey as the loveably lawless stowaway, Moonface Martin. Features classic Porter tunes "You're the Top," "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," "It's De-Lovely" and "I Get A Kick Out of You" set to the Tony-winning tap-filled moves of director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall. (Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)



LAST CHANCE→ After several extensions, David Auburn's The Columnist ends its Broadway run. Tony winner John Lithgow stars as writer Joseph Alsop — who ruled over DC's elite political scene in the mid-1900s with a mighty and often acerbic pen. When Alsop travels to Moscow in 1954 to cover the growing contentions between America and Russia, his tryst with a young man lands him in hot water with the K.G.B. — and threatens his powerful position and his status as a closeted homosexual. Also starring Tony winner Boyd Gaines, Stephen Kunken, Margaret Colin and Grace Gummer. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, July 9
RE-OPENING→ Fela! (a 2010 Tony nominee for Best Musical) returns to Broadway for a limited summer engagement with Tony nominee Sahr Ngaujah once again starring as the alluring and often polarizing Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. With a starry producing team that includes rapper Jay-Z and film stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, Fela! is directed by Tony winner Bill T. Jones. (Through Aug. 4, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., btwn 8th & 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Bobby Steggert

Tuesday, July 10
OPENING (L.A.)→ Spring Awakening's Tony-winning team Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater premiere a new musical, The Nightingale, at La Jolla Playhouse. Nightingale gets its story from the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale about a young sheltered Chinese emperor and the songbird who opens his eyes to the world outside the Forbidden City. Directed by Moisés Kaufman, it features Broadway's Bobby Steggert, Corbin Reid, Eisa Davis and Jonathan Hammond. (La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA, info/tickets.)

Wednesday, July 11
PREVIEWS→ The Last Smoker in America, a new musical comedy by Side Show's Bill Russell, makes its New York premiere. The story is set in a future, smoke-free America and follows a desperate woman looking to escape her life (and her restless teenage son and delusional husband) via a hidden pack of Marlboros. (Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves., info/tickets. Officially opens Aug. 2.)

Thursday, July 12
PREVIEWS→ A new spirited pop musical from the creators of In the Heights (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Next to Normal (Tom Kitt), High Fidelity (Amanda Green) and Avenue Q (Jeff Whitty) makes its way to Broadway. Bring It On: The Musical explores the intense world of competitive high school cheerleading through pop and hip-hop tunes and the acrobatic stylings of Tony-winning director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. Includes an energetic cast of 32 Broadway newbies! (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets. Officially opens Aug. 1.)

Friday, July 13
WATCH→ John Leguizamo chronicles the behind-the-scenes action of creating and starring in his latest autobiographical Broadway play Ghetto Klown in the TV special "John Leguizamo's Tales from a Ghetto Klown." The one-hour special takes a look at the Queens-born film star as he creates his one-man show about his rise as a film and stage actor and the trials he endured along the way. (9 PM ET, PBS, Check local listings.)

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

Watch highlights of Bring It On: