THE WEEK AHEAD, Aug. 25-31: Sister Act Kicks the Habit, Sam Shepard's Heartless Opens and Silence! Hits L.A.

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25 Aug 2012

Betty Gilpin and Lois Smith
Betty Gilpin and Lois Smith
Joan Marcus

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that the final "fabulous" evening with Sister Act has arrived… Sam Shepard brings new work to NYC… Tori Scott provides a breath of fresh (and funny!) air… and Silence! goes west. The final week of August is here this WEEK AHEAD. Make it count!

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Saturday, August 25
LAST CHANCE→ The Public Theater's critically acclaimed production of Richard III, starring a terrifying and triumphant Ron Cephas Jones, kicked off the company's Mobile Shakespeare Unit. This 90-minute version of the Shakespeare classic previously played (for free) in prisons, homeless shelters, at-risk-youth centers, senior citizen homes and other places around the city that otherwise might not have access to Shakespeare (or any arts for that matter), before ending up for a three-week run at the Public's downtown headquarters. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, August 26
LAST CHANCE→ Another show in the trend of celluloid-derived musicals, Sister Act, spends its last night on Broadway. Based on the popular Whoopi Goldberg film about a nightclub-singer-turned-nun, Sister Act currently features Raven-Symoné belting out the Alan Menken-Glenn Slater disco-inspired songs that earned the songwriting team a 2011 Tony nomination for Best Original Score. (Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway at 53rd St. Click here for the Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, August 27
OPENING→ A hit before it even opened, the world-premiere Signature Theatre Company production of Sam Shepard's Heartless has sold out its initial run and has extended due to the demand. The latest drama from the brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning mind of Shepard follows a troubled family living in a secluded home in the California hills. The cast features Lois Smith, Betty Gilpin, Jenny Bacon, Julianne Nicholson and Gary Cole. (Through Sept. 30, Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)



Tuesday, August 28
OPENING (Connecticut)→ Tony nominee Bobby Steggert and Paul Anthony Stewart star in the world premiere of Chad Beguelin's Harbor, which follows a gay couple whose relationship is put to the test when their family comes to visit. Beguelin earned a Tony nom for The Wedding Singer (book and lyrics) and will be represented on Broadway this season with the holiday return of Elf. (Through Sept. 15, Westport Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, CT. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, August 29
GO→ Singer Tori Scott returns to Joe's Pub following a sold-out engagement of her show that features an eclectic mix of stand-up and song. A self-described "belter and bad-decision expert," Scott mixes the songs of everyone from Carole King to Judy Garland to The Who with her hilarious stories of her bad choices — like landing in jail on New Year's Eve and flirting with a homeless man. Co-written by Playbill's own Adam Hetrick. (9:30 PM, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St., $15. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, August 30
LAST CHANCE→ It's not often that Feinstein's, the fancy cabaret club on Park Avenue, gets its own musical. But for its final few months of operation at the Loews Regency (the nitery is shopping for a new home while the hotel is undergoing renovations), the place is loosening up a bit. Enter Steven Cagan's Love Songs — A Musical, a sort-of uptown Tony and Tina's Wedding where the groom is M.I.A., the bride is accidentally pregnant and the guests are entertainingly unruly. (Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 60th St. Info/tickets.)

Friday, August 31
PREVIEWS (Los Angeles)→ Count this as the little show that could! Silence! The Musical, a musical parody of the film "Silence of the Lambs," got its start in 2002 as a collection of songs by brothers Jon and Al Kaplan. Tony nominee Hunter Bell (book) and recent Tony winner Christopher Gattelli (direction and choreography) then stepped in to shape it into a musical. It's now become an Off-Broadway hit (moving to the newly christened Elektra Theatre in midtown Manhattan) with a new production opening in Los Angeles. The L.A. outpost of Silence! stars Davis Gaines as Hannibal Lecter, Christine Lakin as Clarice Starling and original Silence! cast member Stephen Bienskie as Buffalo Bill. (Officially opens Sept. 8. Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Info/tickets.)

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

Watch highlights from Heartless: