THE WEEK AHEAD, Sept. 29-Oct. 5: Grace Opens on Broadway, Annie Begins and Chicago Gets Kinky

By Blake Ross
September 29, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that producers are "calling all Matildas!"… Betty Buckley is a VixenAnnie arrives in N.Y.C… Chicago gets Kinky… and Seinfeld tours the city. An October chockablock with theatre goodness has arrived this WEEK AHEAD!



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Saturday September 29
GO→ Kathy Najimy, Annette O'Toole and Reg E. Cathey star in the world premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Heresy. The new dark comedy from the Theatre Hall of Famer whose plays include O Jerusalem, Mrs. Farnsworth and Love Letters, is set in a “not-so-distant future” where Najimy’s son has been arrested and taken into custody by Homeland Security. (Through Nov. 4, The Flea Theater, 41 White St., btwn. Church & Broadway,info/tickets.)

Sunday, September 30
OPEN CALL→ The producers of the London hit Matilda have announced an open call to cast the title role in the Broadway version of the Olivier Award-winning musical based on Roald Dahl's classic children's tale of a precocious girl with telekinetic powers. Girls ages 8-10 years old — and no taller than 4-foot-4 because, according to the casting notice, "Matilda should look like the runt of the litter" — should come prepared with sheet music for a song and a Dahl-like story or poem. (11 AM, Pearl Studios, 519 8th Ave., btwn. 35th & 36th Sts., first come first serve basis. Info.)

Monday, October 1
GO→ Michael McKean directs and stars in a star-studded reading of A Thurber Carnival, a series of comedy vignettes from famous New Yorker writer and cartoonist James Thurber. The reading, a benefit for the Pearl Theatre Company, will also feature Jason Butler Harner, Jackie Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Dakin Matthews, Annette O'Toole, Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders. (7:30 PM, Pearl Theatre, 555 W. 42nd St., btwn. 10th & 11th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, October 2 GO→ Betty Buckley returns to Feinstein's with a new show tackling the theatre's greatest supporting women characters. The Other Women: The Vixens of Broadway will feature the Tony winner's famous soprano on songs like "When You're Good to Mama" from Chicago, "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" from Evita, "I Know Things Now" from Into the Woods and "The Miller's Son" from A Little Night Music. (Through Oct. 27, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, October 3
PREVIEWS→ America's favorite redheaded moppet is back on Broadway in the 35th Anniversary revival of Annie. Katie Finneran, who nabbed her second Tony in 2010 for a scene-stealing, 20-minute stint in Promises, Promises, plays Miss Hannigan. The "Little Girls" Hannigan so despises are led by little orphan Annie, played by 11-year-old Lilla Crawford. Aussie Anthony Warlow, who played Daddy Warbucks to acclaim in separate Australian productions, revisits the role of the millionaire who rescues Annie from her life of hard knocks. Officially opens Nov. 8. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway, btwn. 46th & 47th Sts. Info/tickets.)

Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd and Edward Asner

Thursday, October 4
OPENING→ The dark comedy Grace, starring Paul Rudd and Kate Arrington as Steve and Sara, a naïve couple who uproot their life in order to follow a religious calling, opens on Broadway. When the marrieds arrive in Florida with the idea of building a hotel with the tagline "Where Would Jesus Stay?," their scientist neighbor (Michael Shannon) and an old German émigré (Ed Asner) offer startling insight into life outside the church. Written by Craig Wright and directed by Dexter Bullard. (Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS (CHICAGO)→ Kinky Boots, songwriter Cyndi Lauper and librettist Harvey Fierstein's musical — about a shoe factory owner (Stark Sands) whose company is in trouble and the cross-dressing designer (Billy Porter) who revitalizes the business — makes a pre-Broadway pit stop in Chicago. Tony winner Jerry Mitchell directs and choreographs the new pop-and-disco-infused musical based on the 2005 British film. Officially opens in Chicago Oct. 17. (Bank of America Theatre, 18 West Monroe, Chicago. Info/tickets.)

GO→ Jerry Seinfeld, one of my favorite comedians of all time (I'm assuming I'm not alone in that sentiment), returns to his roots with a new stand-up show that will travel to all five boroughs of New York. Kicking off in Manhattan at the Beacon, Seinfeld will then take the show to Lehman Concert Hall in the Bronx, Colden Auditorium at Queens College, St. George Theatre in Staten Island and the Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College. (Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, at 74th St. Info/tickets.)

Friday, October 5
GO/WATCH→ The stars and creatives from Broadway's Chaplin will talk about the man who inspired the new musical in a live-streamed conversation in NYC. Rob McClure, who plays the famous Tramp, will join the musical's librettist, Thomas Meehan, and co-star Jenn Colella, who plays Chaplin's nemesis Hedda Hopper, for the talk moderated by WQXR host Elliot Forrest. Forrest's next theatre-related chat at The Greene Space will be with Enemy of the People's Richard Thomas (Oct. 11). (The Greene Space, 44 Charlton St., at Varick St., $15. Click here for tickets and live stream info.)

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

Playbill Video visits Kinky Boots in rehearsal: