THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 2-8: Bare Ends, Passion Begins, Clive Opens and Season Two of "Smash" Premieres

By Blake Ross
02 Feb 2013

Celia Keenan-Bolger
Celia Keenan-Bolger

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Yazbek and LuPone reunite… "Betting on Broadway" offers a look inside the web of Broadway's notorious $75-million musical… "Smash" returns for a "bombshell" second season… and a new Passion proves "unhappiness can be seductive." Your "Smashing" WEEK AHEAD has arrived!

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Saturday, February 2
GO (Massachusetts)→ Cambridge's American Repertory Theater has been on a Broadway roll as of late — shepherding shows like Once, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and the upcoming Pippin revival to their Broadway bows. Will their latest, a star-studded The Glass Menagerie revival, be next? This new incarnation of the Tennessee Williams classic stars Tony winner Cherry Jones as the desperate Amanda Wingfield, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger as her isolated daughter, Laura, Zachary Quinto as son Tom and Brian J. Smith as The Gentleman Caller, whom Amanda believes is the answer to all their prayers. The show reunites some of the members of Once's Tony-winning creative team, including director John Tiffany, scenic and costume designer Bob Crowley and lighting designer Natasha Katz. (Through March 17, A.R.T.'s Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, February 3
LAST CHANCE→ The pop-rock musical Bare, about the secret lives of two boys struggling with their sexual identity in a Catholic boarding school, plays its last performance at New World Stages. The Stafford Arima-helmed production stars Taylor Trensch and Jason Hite as the two "star-crossed lovers" at the center of the drama. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)



Monday, February 4
GO→ Singer-songwriter David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Fully Monty) continues his "First Mondays" song series in which he performs new music alongside former stars of his shows. This Monday, he'll welcome Patti LuPone (who starred in Yazbek's short-lived Broadway musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). The evening promises new songs from Yazbek performed with LuPone and Yazbek's band, His Fine Washables. (8 PM, 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson St., off Canal St. Tickets from $25. Info/tickets.)

WATCH→ CNBC debuts a new documentary called "Betting on Broadway" that takes a look at the financial side of putting on a Broadway show — specifically the $75-million megashow that is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Appearing in the half-hour show, hosted by Maria Bartiromo, is Spider-Man's original director and book writer Julie Taymor as well as producers Jeremiah Harris and Michael Cohl (the trio recently settled a series of lawsuits and countersuits over beginnings of the property). Bartiromo also chats with Disney Theatricals head honcho Thomas Schumacher, Jujamcyn Theaters' young president Jordan Roth and Grace producer Debbie Bisno. (9 PM and Midnight, CNBC. Check local listings.)

Jennifer Hudson and Katharine McPhee
photo by Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Tuesday, February 5
WATCH→ The second season of NBC's Broadway-based drama "Smash" kicks off with a two-hour episode, and the coming episodes are loaded with big Broadway names. Joining the cast, led by Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Christian Borle and Angelica Huston, will be Tony nominees Jeremy Jordan and Sean Hayes, Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson, "Hairspray" movie star Nikki Blonsky and Rent's Jesse L. Martin. Expect more star cameos from Broadway heavyweights Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli and Harvey Fierstein. On Wednesday, check in with all the dishy details in Playbill.com's weekly Smash Report written by Kenneth Jones. Here are the columns recapping Season One. (9-11 PM ET. Info.)

Wednesday, February 6
OPENING (California)→ James Van Der Beek follows in the footsteps of fellow "Dawson's Creek" alum Katie Holmes when he trades the small screen for the stage. Van Der Beek stars in Joanna Murray-Smith's The Gift, a new play that explores the marital woes of two couples staying at the same resort. Joining Van Der Beek is Emmy winner Kathy Baker, Chris Mulkey and Jaime Ray Newman. (Through March 10, The Geffen Playhouse's Gil Cates Theatre, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, February 7
OPENING→ Ethan Hawke directs and stars in Clive, Jonathan Marc Sherman's adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Baal. The play with music explores the troubled life of a '90s-era songwriter and his battle with addiction. Joining Hawke on stage in The New Group production is the playwright himself, Brooks Ashmanskas, Vincent D'Onofrio, Zoe Kazan, Stephanie Janssen, Mahira Kakkar, Aaron Krohn and Dana Lyn. (The Acorn Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ The cheeky 1974 revue Let My People Come gets a revamp for today's less-prudish audiences. The show proved quite risqué when it debuted at the Village Gate almost 40 years ago — it billed itself "A Sexual Musical" and included graphic nude scenes and sexual simulations. Despite the salacious hype, the show did explore more that just sex and gained enough of a cult following to become one of the highest-grossing Off-Broadway musicals. This new version won't take as raunchy an approach (although it does include a "Full Throttle" section that guarantees your integration with the cast and "a bit of nudity") and explores other topical themes like today's gay- marriage fight. Officially opens Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. (The Underground, 955 West End Ave., at 107th St. and Broadway. Info/tickets.)

Friday, February 8
PREIEWS→ The Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's musical Passion begins its run at Classic Stage Company. Melissa Errico and Judy Kuhn play the two disparate women at the heart of the dark, seductive musical. The beautiful young Clara (Errico) and the sickly recluse Fosca (Kuhn) create a pas de trois of obsession, lust and, yes, passion, with a handsome military officer, Giorgio (Ryan Silverman). Sweeney Todd Tony winner John Doyle directs. Officially opens Feb. 28. (Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., btwn., 3rd & 4th Aves. Info/tickets.)

GO→ The musical The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and subsequent Steven Spielberg film, comes to the White Plains Performing Arts Center starring Kelechie Ezie as Celie. The Broadway version, adapted by Marsha Norman, received 10 Tony nominations and one win (for LaChanze in the Celie role) at the 2006 Tony Awards. The score features the soulful Brenda Russell songs "Somebody Gonna Love You," "Brown Betty," and the commanding 11th-hour anthem "I'm Here." (Though Feb. 24, White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place. Info/tickets.)

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

Watch highlights of Bare: