THE WEEK AHEAD, June 23-29: Priscilla, Godspell and Million Dollar Quartet Melt Away

By Blake Ross
June 23, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that it's last Broadway boogie for Priscilla; Godspell bids a confetti-filled goodbye; the "Jimmys" turn four; and a Dogfight breaks out Off-Broadway. The Heat is over (we hope) this WEEK AHEAD.



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Saturday, June 23
GO (FREE)→ The summer is all about free, outdoor theatre and chief among those offerings is the works of Shakespeare (see: New York's Shakespeare in the Park, Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company's "Free For All," San Fran's Shakespeare Fest, Boston's Shakespeare on the Common, et al.) NYC's Boomerang Theatre Company joins in with their free summer offering of a reinvented Hamlet featuring Zack Calhoon as the doomed prince. (Through July 15. Central Park, 77th St. and Central Park West. Enter on 77th St. with the performance on the lawn to your right. Info.)

Sunday, June 24
LAST CHANCE→ The first Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak's classic rock musical Godspell will close on Broadway. The current Broadway cast stars Corbin Bleu as Jesus and features the popular Schwartz tunes "Day by Day," "Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord," "Beautiful City" and "Save the People." That same day, the show will host a tag sale featuring show props, set pieces, theatre displays and promotional items from noon-6 PM at Davenport Studios — 250 W. 49th Street, 3rd Floor — with a portion of the proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. (Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway at 50th St. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ The sparkly and glittery ladies (and gents) of Broadway's Priscilla Queen of the Desert sing their disco swan song at Broadway's Palace. The jukebox musical, littered with dance floor classics like "I Will Survive," "I Love the Nightlife," "Shake Your Groove Thing" and "MacArthur Park," currently stars Nick Adams and Tony nominees Will Swenson and Tony Sheldon as three drag queens who take a trip through the Australian outback on a party bus named Priscilla. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway, btwn. 46th & 47th St. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Eddie Clendening and Lance Guest
photo by Joan Marcus

LAST CHANCE→ Million Dollar Quartet, one of those rare Broadway-to-Off-Broadway transfers, ends its run at New World Stages. Quartet chronicles a storied evening in rock 'n' roll history — one where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins would have an all-night jam session — through rock classics like "Blue Suede Shoes," "Sixteen Tons," "Great Balls of Fire," "I Walk the Line" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, June 25
GO→ The fourth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards, better known as the "Jimmys," celebrates the best in high school theatre. Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox (who will star in the Broadway-bound revival of Jekyll & Hyde) host the awards ceremony that features performances from the talented kids up for awards and scholarships. I went last year, and can say these kids sure do make me feel good about the future of our industry! This marks a special year for the Jimmys — it's the 90th birthday of James M. Nederlander (for whom the Awards are named) as well as the Nederlander Organization's 100th Anniversary! (7:30 PM, Minskoff Theatre, $30-$250. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, June 26
GO→ Two-time Tony nominee (and all-around nice guy of the theatre) Brian d'Arcy James takes to the stage at 54 Below for Under the Influence, a new show that promises songs that have shaped James as an entertainer. On the docket: "Tempted" by Squeeze, "Is She Really Going Out With Him" by Joe Jackson, "I Saw the Light" by Todd Rundgren and "Mockingbird" by James Taylor. (Through June 30, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, June 27
PREVIEWS→ Dogfight, the 1960s-set musical about Vietnam War-bound Marines who pull off a nasty prank involving inviting ugly girls to a party, gets its much-anticipated world premiere. Joe Mantello directs with choreography by recent Tony winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) and music by A Christmas Story, The Musical! scribes Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Former Godspell co-stars Nick Blaemire and Lindsay Mendez star. (Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., corner of 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens July 16.)

Tracy Letts
Photo by Monica Simoes

Thursday, June 28
OPENING (CHICAGO)→ Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company ends its 2011-12 season with Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe Tracy Letts' adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. Anna D. Shapiro, the Tony-winning director of Letts' August: Osage County, is at the helm with Ora Jones (Olga), Carrie Coon (Masha) and Caroline Neff (Irina) as the troubled sisters of the Prozorov family. (Through Aug. 26, Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 60614. Info/tickets.)

 Friday, June 29
GO (TOUR)→ War Horse, the 2011 Tony winner for Best Play, hits the road on a 30-city U.S. national tour. First stop: Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre. The show chronicles the life of a horse named Joey and his dedicated owner Albert and their unflagging friendship as Joey is sold to the cavalry during World War I. The magic of the show's celebrated equine puppets come courtesy of the Tony-winning Handspring Puppet Company. After its premiere in L.A., the tour will make stops in San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Durham, Boston, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Lansing, Des Moines, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Tempe, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Providence, Minneapolis and Appleton, WI. (Through July 29, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012. Info/tickets.)

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