THE WEEK AHEAD, April 28-May 4: Midsummer Night's Dream Opens Off-Broadway; Tony Nominees Announced

By Blake Ross
April 28, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Usher joins Fuerza Bruta… Bebe Neuwirth stars as the fairy queen in A Midsummer Night's Dream… and Tony season begins! Tony nominations are announced this WEEK AHEAD! Be sure to visit Playbill.com May 1 for news on the nominations and reactions from your favorite stars.



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Saturday, April 28
GO→ R&B superstar (and former Billy Flynn in Broadway's Chicago) Usher will join the cast of the fantasy-filled Off-Broadway spectacle Fuerza Bruta. Usher will play the lead role of "Running Man" for two special performances. (Daryl Roth Theatre, 20 Union Square E., at 15th St., info/tickets.)

Sunday, April 29
OPENING→ Shakespeare's classic romantic-comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream receives a delightful revival courtesy of Classic Stage Company and director Tony Speciale. Two-time Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth as the fairy queen and Amazon warrior Titania/Hippolyta with film star Christina Ricci as the lovelorn woods-dweller Hermia and writer-performer Taylor Mac as Puck. Steven Skybell is also a standout for his absolutely hilarious turn as the goofy Nick Bottom. (Through May 20, Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, April 30
GO→ The annual New York Pops Gala will feature a bevy of Broadway talent, under the direction of Steven Reineke, toasting to Ragtime, Once On This Island and My Favorite Year songwriters Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. On the docket to perform are Liz Callaway, Kevin Chamberlin, LaChanze, Jason Danieley, Boyd Gaines, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Darlene Love, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Tiler Peck and Andrew Rannells, hosted by Terrence McNally. (7 PM, Carnegie Hall, tickets start at $60, info/tickets.)

Kristin Chenoweth
Tuesday, May 1
CLICK→ Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Parsons announce the nominees for the 66th Annual Tony Awards at 8:30 AM EST. Be sure to check Playbill.com at that time to get a complete list of the nominees. Throughout the day, we'll be chatting with the stars to get their reactions to their nominations!

PREVIEWS→ Mike Bartlett's Olivier Award-winning C*ck (coined "a brilliant study in bisexuality" by The Independent) comes stateside with Cory Michael Smith starring as a man who breaks up with his boyfriend (Jason Butler Harner) only to fall for a woman (Amanda Quaid). (The Duke Theatre, 229 W. 42nd St. btwn. 7th & 8th Aves., click here for Playbill Club discount tickets. Officially opens May 17.)

Wednesday, May 2
GO→ Last summer, "Desperate Housewives" alum Emily Bergl took to the stage at the Algonquin Room in what would be one of the famed venue's last shows before shuttering. The New York Times called her "an incandescent kewpie doll with a bright Betty Boop-inflected chirp." Bergl brings her glowing charm back to the New York cabaret circuit — this time at the Carlyle — with a love letter to the Big Apple, NY, I Love You. (Through May 12, Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave., info/tickets.)

Thursday, May 3
GO→ La Mama hosts its second annual American Human Beatbox Festival featuring today's hottest beatboxers, hype men, spoken-word artists, whistlers, human drum machines and other vocalists for a diverse mix of music and jam sessions stretched out of the fest's three days. (La Mama, 74A E. 4th St., btwn. Bowery & 2nd Ave., info/tickets.)

Friday, May 4
PREVIEWS→ Moisés Kaufman directs Simon Gray's comedy-drama The Common Pursuit, about a group of idealistic college kids and how their lives evolve over a 20-year span. Starring Kristen Bush, Kieran Campion, Josh Cooke, Jacob Fishel, Tim McGeever and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe. Officially opens May 24. (Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Tony winner Lea Salonga will return to the New York stage with her solo show Lea Salonga: The Journey Continues. The Miss Saigon and Les Miz star will sing her patented unique mix of Broadway standards, pop hits and music from her native Philippines. (8 PM, The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., $45-$55, info/tickets.)

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

Cock creative team explains the show: