THE WEEK AHEAD, Aug. 10-16: Soul Doctor Opens, The Nance Closes and Billy Porter Kicks Off "Monday Musicals"

By Blake Ross
10 Aug 2013

Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that the theatre community says, "Mazel Tov" on your Broadway debut, Rocking Rabbi… Nathan Lane says "Bye, Simply Bye" to The Nance… Musical Mondays are reborn (!)... and free movie musicals are offered under the stars! Get your Soul on this WEEK AHEAD. 

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Saturday, August 10
GO→ Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies) and Richard Sherman (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, "It's a Small World After All") team up for the first time in The Disney Songbook. This one-night-only concert will feature the multi-award-winning Disney songsmiths singing the songs that made Disney musicals (and, in many cases, their Broadway counterparts) beloved by families around the world! This special concert is a part of the weekend-long D23 Expo — The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. (Through Aug. 11, 6:30 PM, D23 Arena, the first floor of the Anaheim Convention Center. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, August 11
LAST CHANCE→Nathan Lane offered a Tony-nominated turn as a vaudeville star with a deep secret in The Nance. Douglas Carter Beane's play, which explores the dark underbelly of having to hide one's sexuality in homophobic, 1920s New York City, closes Aug. 11. (Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)



Monday, August 12
GO→ Gay nightlife stalwart Splash will sadly shutter Aug. 11 after 22 years! And, if you were a fan of Splash's popular "Musical Mondays" series, then you'll love that midtown's XL Club is taking over the tradition! Starting Monday, XL presents what they are calling "Monday Musicals." Kinky Boots' 2013 Tony-winning star Billy Porter will host this inaugural XL program! (6 PM-midnight, XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St., btwn 10th & 11th Aves. Info.)

Eric Anderson in Soul Doctor.
photo by Carol Rosegg

Tuesday, August 13
GO→ Famed Russian singer Larisa Dolina makes her Broadway debut in Chicago as Matron "Mama" Morton. Following Dolina's eight-performance run, she'll take the role to her native Moscow in October. Dolina takes over the role from television personality Wendy Williams, who will play "Mama" Morton through Aug. 11. (Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Wednesday August 14
GO (Free)→ Manhattan's annual "Summer on the Hudson: Movies Under the Stars" event tackles movie musicals this Wednesday evening, when they screen 2012's "Pitch Perfect." (Riverside Park, enter at 69th and West End Highway. Info.)

Thursday, August 15
OPENING→ The music and legacy of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach lives on in the new Broadway musical Soul Doctor. Eric Anderson plays the good Rabbi, a Holocaust survivor who turns to the soul music of pioneers like Nina Simone (Amber Iman) to enrich his teachings. (Circle in the Square Theatre, 50th St., at Broadway. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, August 16
PREVIEWS→ The National Asian American Theater Company (NAATCO) presents Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing, featuring an all-Asian cast that includes Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Mia Katigbak, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari and Henry Yuk.  (Officially opens Aug. 21, Walker Space, 46 Walker St., $15-$25. Info/tickets.)

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

Watch Playbill Video's preview of Soul Doctor: