THE WEEK AHEAD, May 12-18: Magic/Bird and Leap of Faith End Broadway Runs; Harvey Begins

By Blake Ross
May 12, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that there are early Broadway exits for Magic/Bird and Leap of Faith… David Hyde Pierce sings new songs by John Kander… Julie Taymor speaks (!) to Tom Schumacher… and Jim Parsons (and a furry friend) return to Broadway. We're going two-by-two this WEEK AHEAD!



*

Saturday, May 12
LAST CHANCE→ Magic/Bird, the play chronicling the rivalry-turned-friendship between basketball legends Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird, closes on Broadway. The team behind last season's football-themed Lombardi — writer Eric Simonson, director Thomas Kail and producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo — joined with the NBA to produce the play starring Kevin Daniels as Magic and Tug Coker as Bird. (Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

OPENING (California)→ The world premiere of the musical Hands on a Hardbody, featuring music by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, lyrics by Amanda Green and a book by Doug Wright, receives its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse. Directed by Neil Pepe, Hardbody gets its story from the 1997 documentary about an endurance competition that challenged its contestants to keep their hands firmly planted on a pickup truck. Keith Carradine, Jim Newman, Mary Gordon Murray and Hunter Foster star. (Through June 17, La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Drive, La Jolla, CA. Info/tickets.)

Rachel Potter

Sunday, May 13
LAST CHANCE→ Despite its nomination for the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical, Alan Menken and Glen Slater's newest Broadway tuner Leap of Faith closes on Broadway. Raúl Esparza stars as Jonas Nightingale, the enigmatic leader of a traveling ministry that trades fake miracles for real dollars. Nightingale is poised to pull off a big hoax — until he meets his match in a small town sheriff (Jessica Phillips). Based on the 1992 Steve Martin flick. (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Evita's Rachel Potter (who wowed critics with her pristine version of "Another Suitcase in Another Hall") plays Joe's Pub with special guest Constantine Maroulis. The engagement will celebrate Potter's debut country album "Live the Dream" — expect a free copy of the EP with the price of admission! (9:30 PM, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Ave. $15. Info/tickets.)

Monday, May 14
GO→ Scott Siegel's popular Broadway by the Year concert series, now in its 12th season, continues with the musicals of 1975. Singing songs from The Wiz, Chicago, A Chorus Line and The Rocky Horror Show will be Ashley Brown, Grammy winner Lari White, Bob Stillman and Maya Aays. (Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., $55-$200. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, May 15
OPENING (California)→ David Hyde Pierce, Julia Murney and Paul Anthony Stewart star in The Landing, a new musical by composer John Kander and writer Greg Pierce. The new musical, Kander's first full-length piece since the 2004 passing of his long-time collaborator Fred Ebb, comprises three different stories all woven together in one haunting musical. Presented by the Vineyard Theatre's Developmental Lab program. (Through June 3, Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St., btwn. Union Square E. & Irving Place. Info/tickets.)

Jim Parsons
Photo by Maarten de Boer

Wednesday, May 16
GO (FREE)→ The York Theatre Company will open its doors to the public to check out its latest work in progress, the musical In Love with Jobim. The series of free concerts features music by the late Brazilian bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim — most famous for penning "The Girl From Ipanema." Starring Jeff McCarthy, Ashley Perez Flanagan, Curt Hansen and Ken Land. (3 PM and 7 PM, through May 17, The Theatre at Saint Peter's 619 Lexington Ave., at 54th St. Info/waiting list for tickets.)

Thursday, May 17
GO→ Disney Theatrical Productions' head honcho Tom Schumacher hosts and moderates a series of interviews for Music-Theatre Group. The series will kick off with an interview with Tony-winning director Julie Taymor and Tony-nominated songwriter Elliot Goldenthal. On June 7, Schumacher will chat with Porgy and Bess' Tony-nominated director Diane Paulus and Sleep No More producer Randy Weiner. (7:30 PM, The Dimenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W. 37th St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Friday, May 18
PREVIEWS→ Jim Parsons returns to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey. Parsons plays Elwood P. Dowd (a part made famous by Jimmy Stewart in the 1950 film version), the kind, eccentric bachelor who befriends an invisible 6-foot pooka (in the form of a rabbit) named Harvey. Also starring Carol Kane and Tony nominees Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough. Directed by Scott Ellis. (Officially opens June 14. Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

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

Backstage at Leap of Faith: