THE WEEK AHEAD, May 25-31: Tom Durnin, Unbroken Circle and Shakespeare in the Park Begin; Carole King Honored

By Blake Ross
May 25, 2013

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Michael Douglas is Liberace… Shakespeare in the Park begins… John Malkovich seduces the ladies as Casanova… and President Obama names Carole King the first female to win the Gershwin Prize! It's a Memorial Day holiday weekend this WEEK AHEAD.



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Saturday, May 25
GO→ Tony winner Lea Salonga pays homage to her favorite female performers — Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand among them — and her favorite female characters from Broadway in Back to Before, currently playing the Café Carlyle. (Through June 8, Café Carlyle, 35 E. 75th St., at Madison Ave. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, May 26
WATCH→ Michael Douglas stars as Liberace in the HBO film "Behind the Candelabra," a look at the famously flamboyant showman's tempestuous relationship with his young lover, Scott Thorson (Matt Damon). Cheyenne Jackson, Rob Lowe, Scott Bakula and Debbie Reynolds also star in the Steven Soderbergh flick, which features music adaptations by the late Marvin Hamlisch. (Premieres 9 PM ET, HBO. Info.)

Monday, May 27
GO (FREE)→ The New York Philharmonic recognizes Memorial Day with their annual free concert, under the baton of NY Phil's music director Alan Gilbert. The program will include Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D Minor. (8 PM, St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., at 112th St., first-come, first-served, tickets handed out at 6 PM. Info.)

Tuesday, May 28
PREVIEWS (FREE)→ Summer may still be weeks away, but summer's favorite theatre tradition, Shakespeare in the Park, is already upon us! Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater — who had hilarious turns in past Shakespeare in the Park productions of The Winter's Tale and The Merchant of Venice — reunite for Daniel Sullivan's production of Comedy of Errors. Following Errors in July will be a musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost from the Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson team, Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers. Officially opens June 18. (Delacorte Theater, Central Park, entrances at 81st St. & Central Park West or 79th St. and 5th Ave. Info.)

Carole King

WATCH→ Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Carole King — whose inimitable songbook of folksy love songs will be the basis of a new Broadway musical in 2014 — is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The President and First Lady host the celebration with performances and appearances by Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sandé, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood. (9 PM ET/PT, PBS. Check local listings.)

Wednesday, May 29
PREVIEWS→ It's a family affair, in more ways than one, for Unbroken Circle. Playbill's own Seth Rudetsky produces the new work, written by and starring husband James Wesley and featuring their daughter, Juli Wesley! The dark comedy, set in the 1970s in Galveston, Texas, follows a family reunited by the death of their patriarch. Also starring Anika Larsen and Eve Plumb. Officially opens June 19. (St. Luke's Theatre, 308 W. 46th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, May 30
GO→ John Malkovich plays the ultimate ladies man, Giacomo Casanova, in the U.S. premiere of the music-filled play The Giacomo Variations, which was adapted from Casanova's 1790s memoir. The play, exploring the twilight years of this master scoundrel, prolific writer and all-around Renaissance man, kicks off the inaugural season of the Cherry Orchard Festival, dedicated to promoting cultural performances from around the world. (Through June 2, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Friday, May 31
PREVIEWS→ David Morse stars as the title character in Steven Levenson's The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin. Durnin is a small-time, white-collar criminal who attempts to win back the affections of his family following a years-long stint in jail. His family, on the other hand, isn't as eager to mend fences and implode their carefully constructed new life. Also starring Lisa Emery and "Mad Men" star Rich Sommer. Officially opens June 27. (Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Ave., click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

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

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