THE WEEK AHEAD, June 9-15: Neil Patrick Harris Hosts the Tonys, Harvey Opens and "Rock of Ages" Hits Theatres

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09 Jun 2012

Syesha Mercado
Syesha Mercado
Jerry Dalia

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Broadway's biggest night — the Tony Awards — is Sunday (follow me on Twitter for all the dish from inside the Beacon!)… John Patrick Shanley completes his theatrical hat trick… Cheyenne Jackson grapples with Matters of the Heart… and "Rock of Ages" goes Hollywood! It's Tony time this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, June 9
GO (New Jersey)→ The beloved Caribbean-flavored Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical Once On This Island receives a beautiful revival thanks to New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse starring "American Idol" finalist Syesha Mercado as Ti Moune. Directed by Tony nominee Thomas Kail. (Through June 24, Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, June 10
WATCH→ The prom of Broadway, aka the Tony Awards, will air live from New York's Beacon Theatre. Musicals performing on the big telecast include: Evita (with Ricky Martin and Elena Roger), Follies (with Danny Burstein), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (with Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier), Jesus Christ Superstar, Leap of Faith (with Raúl Esparza), Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It (with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara), Once, Godspell (with Corbin Bleu), Ghost The Musical and last year's Best Musical winner The Book of Mormon. The season's best plays, including End of the Rainbow, Peter and the Starcatcher and One Man, Two Guvnors, will also be represented. Neil Patrick Harris returns for his third stint as host. Presenters include Ellen Barkin, Candice Bergen, Jessica Chastain, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Angela Lansbury, James Marsden, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin, Tyler Perry, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer, Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, among others. (8 PM EST/7 PM CT, CBS. Info.)

Monday, June 11
OPENING→ John Patrick Shanley's Storefront Church completes what he calls his "Church and State trilogy," which started with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt in 2004 and continued with 2006's Defiance. Storefront, which Shanley also directs, finds a Bronx politician (Giancarlo Esposito) at odds with a local minister (Ron Cephas Jones) and the woman who owns the mixed-use building which houses the church (Tony winner Tonya Pinkins). The cast also includes Jordan Lage and Tony nominees Zach Grenier and Bob Dishy. (Through June 24, Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater, 336 W. 20th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Brian Stokes Mitchell



GO→ Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melissa Errico, Jim Brochu and Zachary Maitlin star in a one-night-only concert version of the classic musical Oliver!, featuring classic Lionel Bart songs "As Long As He Needs Me," "Consider Yourself," "Where Is Love?" and "Food, Glorious, Food!" (7 PM, Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., tickets start at $100. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, June 12
OPENING→ Amy Brenneman, Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, Kellie Overbey and Lee Tergesen star in the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn. The play follows friends Catherine (Brenneman) and Gwen (Overbey), who, following college, chose two very different paths in life — one's a career go-getter, the other a stay-at-home mom — and seek to switch roles, and share the man that came between them years ago. (Through June 24, Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Wednesday, June 13
GO→ Cheyenne Jackson, "Entourage" star Emmanuelle Chriqui and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" star Krysten Ritter appear in The Heart of the Matter, a collection of one-act plays from Neil LaBute. The four-performance run (a benefit for MCC Theatre) promises LaBute's patented acerbic wit grappling with love stories (both good and complicated). (Through June 16, Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., btwn. Bleecker & Hudson Sts. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, June 14
OPENING→ Jim Parsons stars as the loveable eccentric Elwood P. Dowd in the revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvey. Set in the 1940s, Elwood meets a friend named Harvey. The problem with Harvey is that he's a large invisible rabbit. Elwood's strange friend causes his sister Veta (Jessica Hecht) to commit him to a sanitarium run by the good doctor Chumley (Charles Kimbrough). When Elwood avoids being committed, he sends Chumley and his crew (including Carol Kane, "Mad Men" star Rich Sommer and Morgan Spector) into a tizzy — all on the lookout for a hare who isn't there (or is he?). (Through Aug. 5, Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, June 15
GO→ The star-studded film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages arrives in movie theatres nationwide starring Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, Malin Akerman as Constance, Russell Brand as Lonny, Diego González Boneta as Drew, Alec Baldwin as Dennis, Julianne Hough as Sherrie, Mary J. Blige as Justice, Paul Giamatti as the manager of the rock band, Bryan Cranston as The Mayor and Tony winner Catherine Zeta-Jones as the wife of the mayor. Adam Shankman directs. (Get info.)

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

A sneak peek at Tony night with Playbill Video: