THE WEEK AHEAD, Aug. 18-24: Chaplin Struts Onto Broadway; Ghost, End of the Rainbow, Dogfight Close

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18 Aug 2012

Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman in <i>Ghost The Musical</i>
Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman in Ghost The Musical
Joan Marcus

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Ghost vanishes from Broadway… the end comes for End of the RainbowChaplin tramps onto the Great White Way…and "they all lived happily ever after!" (at least in a family-friendly Into the Woods). Summer days (and some Broadway must-sees) are dwindling. Make sure you catch them before they're gone this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, August 18
LAST CHANCE→ The pop-scored, illusion-heavy musical adaptation of the hit 1990 film "Ghost" will play its last Broadway performance at the Lunt-Fontanne. Ghost The Musical stars Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman as a couple whose love affair is cut short due to a fatal walk through a rough neighborhood. The divine Da'vine Joy Randolph earned a Tony nod as the saucy medium, Oda Mae Brown, who reunites the pair in the afterlife. Featuring a score by pop-music hit makers Dave Stewart (one half of the Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard, a book by the original screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin and "How'd-they-do-that?" illusions — including an amazing "wall walk" — by Paul Kieve. (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Sunday, August 19
CLOSING→ The chaotic last weeks of Judy Garland's life are explored in Peter Quilter's play with music End of the Rainbow. Tracie Bennett, in a bravura performance, plays the beleaguered Garland as she tries to launch a career comeback and battle the alcohol and drug addiction that would eventually take her life at 47. Both Bennett and Michael Cumpsty, who plays Garland's accompanist and the only voice of reason in her hectic life, were nominated for 2012 Tony Awards for their performances. (Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Lindsay Mendez
photo by Joan Marcus

CLOSING→ Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena star in the New York premiere of Dogfight, the story of a young Marine who learns a few things about life and love from a homely waitress he tries to take for a fool. The 1960s-set musical features a score by up-and-coming composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who are also the songwriters of the Broadway-bound Christmas Story The Musical!) and direction by Joe Mantello. (Second Stage, 305 W. 43rd St., corner of 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)



Monday, August 20
GO→ Celebrity Autobiography, the hit show that features hilarious reenactments of celebrity memoirs, returns to the Triad with some big Broadway and standup celebs roasting their brethren. This edition features Tony Danza, Tovah Feldshuh, Cady Huffman and "SNL" star Vanessa Bayer reading the literary genius of celebrities like Suzanne Somers, Vanna White, the Jonas Brothers, Star Jones and Mötley Crüe. (7 PM, The Triad NYC, 158 W. 72nd St., at Broadway. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, August 21
PREVIEWS→ The not-so-rosey life of silent-film star Charlie Chaplin takes center stage in the new musical Chaplin. Rob McClure plays the famous "Tramp" as he evolves from a poor kid from London to one of Hollywood's first celebrities. While Chaplin's antics onscreen won the hearts of the world, his personal life, which was wrought with womanizing and a connection to Communism, led to scandal and his eventual exile from America. It features music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis and a book by Thomas Meehan and Curtis. (Octogenarian Meehan will be making three appearances on the Broadway boards this season — watch for his Annie and Elf, too.) Directed by Warren Carlyle. Officially opens Sept. 10. (Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount preview tickets)

Wednesday, August 22
GO (FREE)→ A special family-friendly matinee of the fairytale-based musical Into the Woods — that is, the first act, in which they all live happily ever after — will be presented at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Starring Donna Murphy as the garden-obsessed Witch; Denis O'Hare and Amy Adams as the child-seeking Baker and the Baker's Wife; Jessie Mueller as a clumsy Cinderella; and Gideon Glick as Jack (before he eventually finds his beanstalk). In this Shakespeare in the Park version, the role of the narrator has been transformed into a young boy (Jack Broderick) who has run away from home and finds his way into the woods. (3 PM, Delacorte Theater, Central Park, enter at 81st St. & Central Park West or at 79th St. & Fifth Ave. The line for free tickets opens at noon. Info.)

Thursday, August 23
OPENING→ The fervor for shows about Mormonism seems to just be heating up with two new productions exploring the funny side of Latter Day Saint living. #MormoninChief, a FringeNYC show, is about an errant tweet that divides a country during a presidential election (plays through Aug. 22). The other, a new musical comedy called Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical, tackles the touchy and taboo subject of polygamy. (Theater for The New City, 155 1st Ave., btwn. 9th & 10th Sts. Info/tickets.)

Friday, August 24
PREVIEWS→ David Schwimmer, Amy Ryan and Tony winner John Cullum star in the New York City premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit. The acclaimed dark comedy, a 2011 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, drills below the sunny life of American suburban living and delves into the depressing underbelly of the "American Dream." Officially opens Sept. 18. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & Dyer Aves. Info/tickets.)

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

Playbill Video visit Chaplin in rehearsal: