THE WEEK AHEAD, March 30-April 5: I'll Eat You Last, Jekyll and Bountiful Begin; Kinky Boots and Lucky Guy Open

By Blake Ross
30 Mar 2013

Benjamin Walker and Scarlett Johansson
Benjamin Walker and Scarlett Johansson
Photo by Joan Marcus

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Cindy Lauper's Boots were made for Broadway!… Scar Jo's inner "Cat" is exorcised… aspiring actors get schooled by Patti LuPone… and the Hollywood invasion of Broadway continues with Bette Midler, Tom Hanks, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Cicely Tyson. Here's to hoping that April's flowers hurry up and grow this Easter WEEK AHEAD (we are so over winter coats!).

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Saturday, March 30
LAST CHANCE→ Tony winner Scarlett Johansson takes on "Maggie the Cat" in Rob Ashford's Broadway revival of the landmark Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Inhabiting the tension-filled plantation home of Big Daddy (Ciarán Hinds) and Big Mama (Debra Monk) Pollitt are Maggie's troubled husband, Brick (Benjamin Walker), Maggie's snide sister- and brother-in-law (Emily Bergl and Michael Park) and, of course, plenty of those "no neck monsters." (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Cicely Tyson takes her first trip back to Broadway in nearly three decades in the revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful. Tyson plays Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who breaks away from her overprotective son and daughter-in-law (Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Vanessa Williams) and journeys back to her beloved hometown of Bountiful, TX. Co-starring Condola Rashad and Tom Wopat. Officially opens April 23. (Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)



Sunday, March 31
NEW CAST→ Tony nominee Jessie Mueller has taken over for Kelli O'Hara in the Gershwin tuner Nice Work If You Can Get It. Mueller plays Billie Bendix, a tomboy bootlegger who falls for playboy bon vivant Jimmy Winter (Matthew Broderick). Also new to the cast are John Treacy Egan and Conrad John Schuck. (Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, April 1
OPENING→ Tom Hanks stars in Nora Ephron's punchy, presentational drama Lucky Guy about the late newspaperman Mike McAlary. McAlary was a controversial figure in the '80s and '90s when he covered the police beat and was later a columnist for New York's big tabloids. His checkered career had some high highs and low lows, which included a libel suit filed by a woman McAlary accused of faking her own rape, a debilitating drunk-driving accident and a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Abner Louima case. Maura Tierney plays McAlary's steadfast wife, with Courtney B. Vance as McAlary's editor and voice of reason. Directed by George C. Wolfe. (Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

WATCH→ Tony Award-winning stage vet Patti LuPone shows some aspiring musical theatre actors how it's done in A YoungArts MasterClass. Cherish this meta moment when the former star of Master Class teaches her own master class. (7:30 PM EST/PT, HBO. Info.)

LAST CHANCE→ It's the last day to sign up for a chance to win a trip to the final weekend of the 37th Annual Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, a major breeding ground for new American plays, in Kentucky. This year's fest, which has been going on since Feb. 27, features new works by up-and-coming talent as well as well-known playwrights like Sarah Ruhl, Will Eno and Anne Washburn. (Contest ends 11:59 PM EST. Click here to enter.)

Jason Robert Brown

Tuesday, April 2
OPENING→ The anticipated New York return of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years is finally here. The semi-autobiographical musical about the dissolution of a relationship set over a five-year period in 1990s New York City has become the stuff of legend after a failed Off-Broadway run in 2002. In the years since, Last Five Years has gone on to enjoy a popular cast album, thousands of productions around the world and an upcoming high-profile film version. Brown directs this Second Stage Theatre production with Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor as the pair of young, doomed lovers. (Second Stage 305 W. 43rd St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ Elaine Stritch, that loveable curmudgeon who has enjoyed a legendary career both on stage and in TV, is retiring from showbiz — leaving her hotel home of 10 years (the Carlyle Hotel) and returning to her home state of Michigan. Before she leaves, the 88-year-old will play a series of final shows at the Café Carlyle called Movin' Over and Out. If you can manage to score a seat to bid adieu to one of the finest, brassy broads ever to grace the stage, I suggest you do. This looks to be one for the history books! (Through April 6, Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, April 3
OPENING→ Michael Urie stars in the world premiere of Jonathan Tolins' newest comedy Buyer & Cellar, the story of Alex More, a struggling actor who takes a day job assisting a movie star. The cellar of the title refers to a stuffy Malibu basement Alex finds himself working in. (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Pl., off 7th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, April 4
OPENING→ '80s megastar Cyndi Lauper tries her hand at the Broadway game with the disco and pop-flavored Kinky Boots. The boots belong to a fierce drag performer named Lola (Billy Porter) who comes to the rescue of a fledgling shoemaker (Stark Sands). Harvey Fierstein wrote the hilarious book based on the obscure 2005 film, with Jerry Mitchell directing and choreographing. (Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, April 5
PREVIEWS→ Bette Midler plays the late Sue Mengers in the one-woman show I'll Eat You Last. Joe Mantello directs Midler in the John Logan play that takes a look at the ostentatious agent who was one of Hollywood's most powerful players in the 1970s — representing people like Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, Mike Nichols and Burt Reynolds. In the twilight of Mengers' career, she started hosting legendary dinner parties where the A-list stars went to schmooze. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is among the producers. Officially opens April 24. (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde gets "A New Life" with a Broadway revival starring Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis as the central role(s) of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. The classic tale of a London doctor with an evil alter ego also stars pop star Deborah Cox and Broadway's Teal Wicks and features the well-known Wildhorn songs "This Is the Moment," "Someone Like You," "Once Upon a Dream," and "In His Eyes." Officially opens April 18. (Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway, at 45th St. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Fresh off her Tony nominated performance in Once, Cristin Milioti takes to Lincoln Center's stunning, glass enclosed Kaplan Penthouse for a new part of their American Songbook series called In the Penthouse. This marks Milioti's solo concert debut. (8PM, Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 W. 65th St., limited availability, call 212-721-6500. Info.)

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

The Kinky Boots creative team talks about the new musical: