THE WEEK AHEAD, May 4-10: Rascals and Testament Close, Murder Ballad Returns and Far From Heaven Begins

By Blake Ross
04 May 2013

Howard McGillin
Howard McGillin

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Fiona Shaw is one Holy Mother one last time… The Rascals Dream once more on Broadway… New York welcomes the return of Murder Ballad… Encores! wraps up its season… and Kelli O'Hara is Far From Heaven. May has sprung this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, May 4
GO→ Howard McGillin, Karen Ziemba, Jeffry Denman, Grammy winner Debby Boone, Barbara Carroll and others celebrate the music of legendary composer Jerome Kern with the next installment of the 92nd St. Y's popular Lyrics & Lyricists series. The Song Is In You: Jerome Kern Coast to Coast pays homage to the Show Boat composer with a song list that includes famous songs Kern penned with collaborators Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, Yip Harburg and Dorothy Fields. (Through May 6, 92nd St. Y, 92nd St. and Lexington Ave. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, May 5
LAST CHANCE→ Fiona Shaw is the Virgin Mary reflecting on the life and death of Jesus — the man, not the deity — in the controversial, now Tony-nominated play The Testament of Mary. In Colm Toibin's one-woman show, Shaw recounts familiar biblical stories (the death and resurrection of Lazarus, the changing of water into wine and the infamous crucifixion) as a sorrow-filled mother remembering the loss of her son, first to his followers and then to history. Directed by Shaw's frequent collaborator, Deborah Warner. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)



LAST CHANCE→ Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Rascals play their Once Upon a Dream concert one final time on Broadway before embarking on a North American tour later this month. In the reunion show, created, produced and co-directed by guitarist-actor Steven Van Zandt, the soul band jams out to their greatest hits like "Good Lovin'," "People Got to Be Free," "Beautiful Morning" and "Groovin'" while tracing their rise to fame via archival footage playing on large video installations. (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Monday, May 6
OPENING→ Michael Cerveris stars as choreographer George Balanchine in the world premiere of Richard Nelson's new play Nikolai and the Others. The David Cromer-helmed dance-filled play imagines a creative weekend shared by Balanchine and other artistic Russian émigrés (Igor Stravinsky and composer Nikolai Nabokov among them). (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 W. 65th St., btwn. Broadway & 10th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Caissie Levy

Tuesday, May 7
PREVIEWS→ Popular rock musical Murder Ballad, which received its world premiere late last year at Manhattan Theatre Club, returns for a commercial Off-Broadway run at the Union Square Theatre, with some members of the original cast reprising their roles. Ghost and Hair star Caissie Levy joins original company members John Ellison Conlee, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Will Swenson in the musical about the fatal love triangle between a woman and two disparate lovers — her uptown, do-good husband and a bad-boy ex-boyfriend. Features music by Jonathan Larson Award winner Julia Jordan and indie rocker Juliana Nash. Officially opens May 22. (Union Square Theatre, 100 E. 17th St. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Wednesday, May 8
GO→ Encores! wraps up its 30th anniversary season with Rodgers and Hart's On Your Toes. Christine Baranski, Karen Ziemba and Walter Bobbie star in the musical about a former vaudevillian and a Russian ballet dancer who get mixed up with gangsters, jealous lovers and a fiery prima ballerina. Directed by Warren Carlyle. (Through May 12, New York City Center, 131 W 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ The musical adaptation of the 2002 Julianne Moore film Far from Heaven, about a suburban couple dealing with sexuality and race in 1957 suburban Connecticut, makes its Off-Broadway debut. Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale play Cathy and Frank, the All-American perfect couple. But nothing is as it seems. Frank harbors a clandestine desire for other men and Cathy has a secret longing of her own, namely for an African American neighbor (Isaiah Johnson). Directed by Michael Greif with music by Grey Gardens scribes Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. Officially opens June 2. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, May 9
GO→ Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald sings songs from her new album "Go Back Home" in a one-night-only concert at Lincoln Center. The album, McDonald's fifth, promises songs from a range of composers, contemporary and classic, including Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa and Kander & Ebb. PBS will film the concert to air May 24 as part of their "Live From Lincoln Center" series. (Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 64th and Columbus Ave. Info/tickets.)

Friday, May 10
GO→ Tony Award-winning Once star Steve Kazee makes his concert debut with his band The Shiny Liars for a series of shows at 54 Below. Expect covers of tunes by indie musicians Damien Jurado, Night Beds and Wilco. (Through May 13, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

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

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream: