THE WEEK AHEAD, Sept. 1-7: Forbidden Broadway Opens Off-Broadway; Into the Woods, Clybourne Park, One Man, Voca People Close

By Blake Ross
September 1, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that a slew of fairytale characters go Into the Woods (and out of the woods — er, Park) one last time… Clybourne Park is vacated… Forbidden Broadway is resurrected… and there's one more night for One Man! Lazy summer days come to an end this Labor Day holiday WEEK AHEAD.



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Saturday, September 1
LAST CHANCE (FREE)→ Shakespeare in the Park closes out its 50th anniversary season at the Delacorte with the starry revival of Into the Woods. Stephen Sondheim's even-more-grim musical spin on the Brothers Grimm fairytales, like Cinderella and Rapunzel, stars Tony Award winner Donna Murphy as the Witch, Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare as the Baker, Academy Award nominee Amy Adams as the Baker's Wife, Tony nominee Jessie Mueller as Cinderella, Tony Award winner Glenn Close as the voice of the Giant and original Broadway cast member Chip Zien as the Mysterious Man. Questions about the show's Broadway future are still unanswered, so catch this enchanting production (for free, at least!) before it's too late. (Delacorte Theater in Central Park, enter at 81st St. and Central Park West or at 79th St. and 5th Ave. Info.)

Sunday, September 2
LAST CHANCE→ Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, an exploration of the gentrification of the storied suburb of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, ends its limited run on Broadway. The show, set in one tension-filled house in 1959 and again in 2009, took home the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 and the Tony Award for Best Play this year. The critically acclaimed cast, which has been with the show since its world-premiere in 2010, includes Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk, Frank Wood and Jeremy Shamos, who earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Steve (in 2009) and Karl Linder (in 1959, the only Raisin crossover character). Sarah Goldberg from the London company joined the Broadway production late in the run. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ One Man, Two Guvnors, the British slapstick import that's become a hit this side of the pond, spends its last night on Broadway. The hilarious British company, led by Tony winner James Corden, gets its story from an Italian commedia dell'arte-inspired classic about a portly servant under the thumbs of two demanding masters. Now set in 1960s London, it's equipped with pratfalls galore, audience participation, mistaken identities and a skiffle band that punctuates the story with early Beatles-like tunes. (Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., bet. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

The cast of Voca People
photo by Leon Sokoletski

LAST CHANCE→ Voca People, a popular a cappella musical event, ends its run at New World Stages. The opposite of Blue Man Group — in that these otherworldly creatures are head-to-toe white and prefer singing to high-tech clowning — Voca People entertainers perform 70 songs, sans instruments, that range from Bach to the Beach Boys and everything (including Madonna, Queen and The Spice Girls) in-between. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th and 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, September 3 (LABOR DAY)
WATCH→ Richard Dreyfuss, Steven Pasquale, Lauren Ambrose and Tony winner Ellen Burstyn take breaks from the stage to return to the small screen with the new miniseries "Coma." The four-hour medical drama, adapted from the novel by Robin Cook and film by Michael Crichton, explores a hospital where seemingly healthy patients suddenly slip into comas. (Through Sept. 4. 9 PM ET/8 Central, A&E. Info/check local listings.)

Tuesday, September 4
PREVIEWS→ Four-time Tony winner Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas star in Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of the 1882 Ibsen play An Enemy of the People. Gaines plays a whistle-blowing doctor who tries to get his neighbors, including his mayor brother (Thomas), to listen to his frightful discoveries about the town's water contamination. Because that diagnosis doesn't bode well for the town's fiscal future, the good doctor's cries fall on deaf ears. Officially opens Sept. 27. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

Wednesday, September 5
PREVIEWS→ The paragon of American theatre that is Kathleen Chalfant will bring her enormous talent to the New York premiere of Red Dog Howls. Alexander Dinelaris' family drama surrounds an unearthed box of letters that sends a family into a tailspin. The play launches New York Theatre Workshop's 2012-2013 season. NYTW has been on a roll lately, having been the first New York host of two Tony-winning shows last season (Once and Peter and the Starcatcher). Officially opens Sept. 27. (NYTW, 79 E. 4th St., btwn. 2nd and Bowery. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

Thursday, September 6
OPENING→ Forbidden Broadway, Gerard Alessandrini's famous spoof of theatre, had for 27 years reminded Broadway not to take itself too seriously. It ended its storied run in 2009 leaving a dearth of satire in its wake. Now, Alessandrini has raised Forbidden Broadway from the dead with a whole new production fittingly titled Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking. This 30th anniversary edition takes on a whole new crop of shows from Once to Newsies to the rotating Jesuses we've seen on Broadway over the past few seasons courtesy of Book of Mormon, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. Broadway, beware! (47th Street Theatre, 304 W. 47th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

Friday, September 7
GO→ The original Frankie Valli of Broadway's Jersey Boys, John Lloyd Young, brings his Tony-winning falsetto back to the hit Broadway property. Young joins his onstage Four Seasons, Matt Bogart, Andy Karl and Quinn VanAntwerp, to sing the hits "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Oh What a Night" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." (See Young through Sept. 30, August Wilson Theatre
, 245 W. 52nd St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

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

Watch highlights from Into the Woods: