THE WEEK AHEAD, March 9-15: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Opens, Drood Closes and Motown Sings

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09 Mar 2013

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Holland Taylor inhabits Ann Richards' Texas… Liza Minnelli celebrates her 67th birthday on stage… Tracie Bennett reunites with Judy Garland… and Sigourney Weaver is back on Broadway and back with Durang. Let's hear it for the girls this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, March 9
GO→ Holland Taylor stars in the self-penned one-woman show Ann, an intimate look at the feisty former Governor of Texas, Ann Richards. Taylor's brilliant portrait of a homegrown heroine displays an extremely affable, powerful and often bawdy side to the late feminist who held her own in the boys club that is Southern politics. Directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein. (Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St., btwn. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Legendary composer Stephen Sondheim will return to the UWS for the second installment of Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano. Pianist Anthony de Mare will play songs from the Sondheim catalogue reimagined by different composers, including Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown. Sondheim will join author Mark Eden Horowitz ("Sondheim on Music") for an onstage discussion following the concert. (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, at 95th St. Tickets from $15-$55. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, March 10
LAST CHANCE→ Roundabout Theatre Company's rowdy revival of Rupert Holmes' Victorian music hall-set romp, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, plays its last performance at Broadway's Studio 54. The murder mystery inspired by Charles Dickens' final, unfinished novel tasks the audience with choosing the murderer of the title character — played in drag by Stephanie J. Block. Among the suspects are Tony winner Chita Rivera, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jessie Mueller and Erin Davie. Tony winner Jim Norton moves the story along as the charismatic Chairman. (Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)



OPENING→ 25-year-old playwright Ike Holter's imaginative new play with music, Hit the Wall, chronicles the events that took place leading up to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, when a group of barflies became revolutionaries. Holter's take on the famous incident that birthed a new gay rights movement took the Chicago theatre world by storm when it debuted at Steppenwolf last winter. It comes to New York's Barrow Street Theatre, just a stone's throw away from the iconic Stonewall Inn. (Barrow Street, 27 Barrow St., at 7th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Motown star Valisia LeKae

Monday, March 11
PREVIEWS→ Berry Gordy's Motown Records produced some of the greatest pop hits and music superstars of all time — Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson among them. How Gordy shaped his Detroit-based record label into an empire serves as the storyline of Motown: The Musical, which features songs from Hitsville's inimitable catalogue. Officially opens April 14. (Lunt-Fotanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. btwn. 8th Ave & Broadway. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Tuesday, March 12
OPENING→ Annie Baker's The Flick makes its world premiere at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. The Sam Gold-helmed dark comedy follows three movie theatre workers who bare their souls inside the shabby and mostly-empty Massachusetts cinema that employs them. (Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theatre, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS (Los Angeles)→ The two Tony nominated stars of the Broadway production of End of the Rainbow, Tracie Bennett and Michael Cumpsty, bring the music-rich drama about the final, drug-and-booze-filled months of Judy Garland's life to the West Coast. Bennett plays the beleaguered star in a bravura performance that is so kinetic and rapid-fire I left the theatre exhausted just watching her! Cumpsty plays Garland's pianist and confidant and the sole voice of reason in a life that quickly spirals out of control. Officially opens March 20. (Ahmanson Theatre, 601 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, March 13
GO→ And speaking of Judy Garland… Liza Minnelli teams up with Alan Cumming for a two-night concert celebrating Minnelli's 67th birthday. The two former Cabaret stars (she, an Oscar winner for the 1972 film, he a Tony winner for the 1998 revival) will sing duets from the famous Kander and Ebb musical as well as some solo songs. The pair previously teamed up for a similar concert on Fire Island. Lance Horne serves as music director. (Through March 14. Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, March 14
OPENING→ Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce and director Nicholas Martin return to the work of Christopher Durang for the Tony nominee's newest comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. A riff on the plays of Anton Chekhov, the rueful and wacky play turns the work of the legendarily gloomy Russian playwright on its head in a truly Durangian way. (Through June 30, Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, March 15
PREVIEWS→ Paul Giamatti will play the tragic Prince of Denmark in the Yale Repertory Theatre's production of Hamlet. Joining the Oscar nominee at the castle Elsinore will be Broadway regulars Marc Kudish, Lisa Emery, Gerry Bamman and Felicity Jones. Officially opens March 21. (Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St., at York St., New Haven CT. Tickets, info.)

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

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