THE WEEK AHEAD, July 14-20: Jeremy Jordan, Megan Hilty and More Celebrate Broadway Barks!; Dogfight Opens Off-Broadway

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14 Jul 2012

Megan Hilty
Megan Hilty

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Joe Mantello starts a musical Dogfight… Michael Cerveris gets his honky tonk on… and Woody Harrelson takes a Bullet for (Off) Broadway. It's raining cats and dogs (er, literally) on Broadway this WEEK AHEAD!

Saturday, July 14
GO→ Broadway Barks! will celebrate its 14th annual adapt-a-thon in Times Square. Broadway's biggest celebrities will be on hand to act as pet wranglers. Barks! co-founders Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore will lead the day's festivities with celebrities Linda Lavin, Jeremy Jordan, Megan Hilty, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Rita Moreno, Nina Arianda, Bebe Neuwirth, Angela Lansbury, Joel Grey and more on hand to help connect homeless cats and dogs from shelters across the tri-state area with Broadway-loving owners. (3:30-6:30 PM, Shubert Alley, 44th-45th Sts., btwn. 8th Ave. & Broadway, info.)

Sunday, July 15
GO→ Loose Cattle, the Michael Cerveris-fronted country and folk band, returns to Joe's Pub. The West Virginia-born Cerveris and his band mates Kimberly Kaye, Gabriel Caplan, Lorenzo Wolf and Eddie Zweiback perform original songs they describe as "contemporary tunes about guns and gasoline, and mashups that mark Dolly Parton and Cee-Lo Green with the same glowing branding-iron." (9:30 PM, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St., $20, info/tickets.)

Monday, July 16
OPENING→ The musical adaptation of Dogfight (based on the film) makes its much-anticipated world premiere at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre with Tony winners Joe Mantello (direction) and Christopher Gattelli (choreography) at the helm. James and the Giant Peach and A Christmas Story the Musical songwriters Justin Paul and Benj Pasek wrote the score for the musical that follows young Corporal Eddie Birdlace (Derek Klena) on the eve of his deployment to Vietnam. Birdlace and two friends pull a malicious prank on an unsuspecting waitress named Rose (Lindsay Mendez) who turns out to provide much more than a few laughs to the naïve Marines. (Second Stage Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Tuesday, July 17
GO→ Ben Vereen is the latest Broadway powerhouse to try out "Broadway's living room" (aka the swanky speakeasy at 54 Below). Vereen revives his Steppin' Out show, which finds the Tony winner telling his life story (including his time with Bob Fosse and his life-changing car accident in 1992) sprinkled with a wide variety of songs from Broadway and beyond — everything from Pippin to Wicked to an ode to the Rat Pack to jazz-inflected pop songs (like "Your Song" and "Stand By Me"). (Through July 21, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves., info/tickets.)

Lindsay Mendez in Dogfight.
photo by Joan Marcus



Wednesday, July 18
GO (FREE)→ Passing Strange collaborators Heidi Rodewald and Stew bring new musical life to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In this modern-day-set version for Connecticut's Shakespeare on the Sound, eight friends are at an annual gathering where they read one of Shakespeare's plays. This particular party finds them reading Shakespeare's tragedy of the star-crossed lovers, and has the guests so enthralled that they find themselves becoming part of the story. (Through July 29, Shakespeare on the Sound, Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, 100 Arch Street., Greenwich, CT, free tickets with suggested donation, limited $50 reserved seating, info or call 203-299-1300.)

GO GREEN→ The Broadway Green Alliance hosts another E-Waste Collection Event in Times Square. Unwanted desktop and laptop computers, keyboards, computer speakers and mice, printers, home and cell phones, PDAs, DVDs, VCRs, TVs, LCD and Flat Panel and CRT monitors, and any dry cell batteries as well as iPods will be accepted. (11 AM-1 PM, Duffy Square, 46th & Broadway, here.)

Thursday, July 19
PREVIEWS→ Woody Harrelson spent a formative summer in the 1980s working on a construction site in Texas where he met a funny friend named Frankie Hyman. When Harrelson moved to Hollywood and became a star, he and Hyman lost touch. Years later, the two old friends reunited to co-write plays. Their latest, Bullet for Adolf, centers on two guys who get mixed up with the son of a Nazi who owns some flashy and pricey Gestapo memorabilia. When it goes missing, fingers are pointed and history is made — or, rather, undone. Harrelson directs. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Aug. 8.)

OPENING→ The Sydney Theatre Company's celebrated production of Chekov’s masterpiece, Uncle Vanya, comes to New York as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, John Bell, Hugh Weaving and Richard Roxburgh in the title role, the production features a new translation by Blanchett's husband, Andrew Upton and is directed by Hungarian director Tamas Ascher. (Through July 28, NY City Center, 131 W 55th St, btwn 6th & 7th, info/tickets.)

GO (FREE)→ One of Broadway's most fun (and free!) summer traditions, Broadway in Bryant Park, is back every Thursday through August 16 just a stone's throw away from Times Square. This Thursday, expect performances from the casts of Wicked, Memphis, Zarkana, Ghost and Sister Act. (12:30 PM, Bryant Park, btwn. 40th and 42nd Sts. & 5th & 6th Aves., info.)

Friday, July 20
GO→ The 18th annual Dancers Responding to AIDS' Fire Island Dance Festival, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, returns to the Fire Island Pines. TV personality Mo Rocca will host the three-day outdoor event which will include a myriad of dance performances from companies around the world, including a new piece by Tony nominated director-choreographer Rob Ashford, a 50th-anniversary performance from the Australian Ballet and a gravity-defying hip-hop dance from the folks at Puremovement. (Through July 22, Fire Island Pines, info/tickets.)

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

Playbill Video visits Ben Vereen in rehearsals: