THE WEEK AHEAD March 22-28: Mothers and Sons Opens and Violet's Bus Rolls Into Broadway

By Blake Ross
March 22, 2014

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Tyne Daly proves she's one Mother of an actor… Broadway goes Backwards… Audra McDonald sings the blues… while Sutton Foster goes Violet… and Les Miz storms the Imperial Theatre barricades once more.



Hoping for some Spring springing this WEEK AHEAD!

Saturday, March 22
GO→ Tony-nominated Ragtime and original Jekyll & Hyde star Christiane Noll returns to 54 Below with an encore performance of her acclaimed concert, Gifts. Noll recounts her family's musical legacy — growing up the kid of a music exec-conductor father and soprano mother — through the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, Puccini and Frank Wildhorn. (8 PM, 54 Below, 254 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.) 

Sunday, March 23
OPENING→ The 25th Anniversary re-imagined production of Claude Michel- Schönberg and Alain Boublil's megamusical Les Misérables opens on Broadway. Ramin Karimloo, well known across the pond for starring in shows like Love Never Dies and The Phantom of the Opera, makes his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean, leading a cast of Broadway regulars like Will Swenson, Nikki M. James and Caissie Levy. Laurence Connor and James Powell co-direct the classic based on Victor Hugo's epic tale of revolutionary France. (Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.) 

Monday, March 24
OPENING→ Tyne Daly returns to Broadway and to writer Terrence McNally in the touching play Mothers and Sons. Daly plays a grieving mother who lost her son to AIDS. In her search for peace, she finds herself at the home of her son's ex-lover, played by Frederick Weller — who has built a happy new life for himself, complete with husband (Bobby Steggert) and son (Grayson Taylor). (Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway and 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

GO→ Broadway Backwards, the gender-bending annual event that taps the Who's Who of Broadway to sing songs normally written for the opposite sex, returns with Debra Monk, Andrew Rannells, Norm Lewis, Billy Porter, Jonathan Groff, Stephanie J. Block and Len Cariou among the list of performers. The evening benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. (8 PM, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.) 

Audra McDonald
photo by Autumn de Wilde

Tuesday, March 25
PREVIEWS→ Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald returns to Broadway in a last-minute move of Lanie Robertson's play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. The one-woman show features McDonald as the inimitable Billie Holiday during one of her last performances. Officially opens April 13. (Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway at 50th St. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

PREVIEWS→ Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh turns his talents to the theatre to direct the new Scott Z. Burns drama The Library. The play, which centers on gun violence in American schools, stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Tamara Tunie, Jennifer Westfeldt and Lili Taylor. Officially opens April 15. (Public Theatre, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.) 

Wednesday, March 26
GO→ Catch Tony-winning Rocket Man (and sometime Broadway producer and composer) Elton John in an epic concert in Vegas, courtesy of Fathom Events, which brings live performances to movie theatres throughout the country. (Click here to find a theatre in your neighborhood.) 

Thursday, March 27
GO→ Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) presents its annual awards, honoring the best in live entertainment. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be given to Marilyn Maye and Tony Award winner Linda Lavin, along with prizes in 25 categories that include New York Debut, Impersonation/Characterization/Drag Artist and Best Piano Bar Instrumentalist. (7:30 PM, B.B. King's Blues Club, 237 W. 42 St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves. Info/tickets.)  

Friday, March 28
PREVIEWS→ Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster stars in the Broadway premiere of Jeanine Tesori's first musical, Violet. The story of a disfigured young woman who travels via bus to a faith healer co-stars Colin Donnell, Alexander Gemignani and Joshua Henry. Officially opens April 20. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

WATCH→ Tony-winning Pippin star Patina Miller makes her Lincoln Center solo debut in the Live from Lincoln Center series. The filmed-for-PBS event features Miller singing a wide range of selections from R&B and pop songs to Broadway tunes from Hair, Sister Act, Pippin and Into the Woods. (9 PM, PBS. Check local listings.)