THE WEEK AHEAD, Oct. 6-12: Cyrano and Running on Empty Open on Broadway; Barbra Streisand Is Back

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06 Oct 2012

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Jessica brings a new Heir to Broadway… Brooklyn and Babs reunite… Anthony LaPaglia is Nixon… Lewis Black is Running on Empty… and Shuler Hensley is the 600-pound man in The Whale. So the weekend is finally here… it's WEEK AHEAD time!

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Saturday, October 6
PREVIEWS→ The Broadway revival of The Heiress, Augustus and Ruth Goetz's Tony-winning drama about a plain Jane rescued from her life of spinsterhood by a debonair suitor, begins its Broadway run with a starry cast on its bill. Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain ("The Help") stars as Catherine Sloper, the dowdy daughter of a rich New York doctor (David Strathairn). When a comely suitor ("Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens) comes to sweep Catherine off her feet, questions arise as to his true intentions. Directed by Moises Kaufman. Officially opens Nov. 1. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ Mike Bartlett's exciting new drama Cock, about a gay man who questions his sexuality, ends its celebrated New York debut. Cory Michael Smith stars as John, a man in a committed relationship with another man (known as M), played with wounded ferocity by Jason Butler Harner. When M and John split, John finds himself falling in love with a woman (known as W), played by Amanda Quaid. As the 80-minute play progresses, the three find themselves in a cockfight of the title, almost literally, as the set is staged to resemble an arena. (The Duke Theatre, 229 West 42nd St. between 7th & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Sunday, October 7
WATCH→ The African-American TV adaptation of "Steel Magnolias" debuts on Lifetime — and it's jam-packed with stage and screen stars. Directed by Tony nominee Kenny Leon, it stars Queen Latifah, Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, her daughter Tony nominee Condola Rashad and Alfre Woodard. Latifah also shares producing credits with Broadway and "Smash" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. (9 PM EST on Lifetime. Info.)



Monday, October 8
GO (FREE)→ The archives of prolific Broadway photographer Martha Swope will make up a new free exhibit at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Swope was one of a handful of photographers who chronicled some of the best-known shows of Broadway's late-20th century Golden Era. From the '50s through to her retirement in the mid '90s, Swope took over a million-and-a-half photos of shows like West Side Story, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Annie and Sweeney Todd. (Through Jan. 26, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Vincent Astor Gallery, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, 64th St., btwn. Amsterdam and Broadway. Info.)

GO→ Barbra Streisand kicks off a limited concert tour at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center before returning to her hometown of Brooklyn for a series of sold-out Back to Brooklyn concerts on Oct. 11 and 13. The iconic performer will then play Montreal (Oct. 17), Ottawa (Oct. 20), Toronto (Oct. 23), Chicago (Oct. 26), Las Vegas (Nov. 2), San Jose (Nov. 5) and Los Angeles (Nov. 9). Trumpeter Chris Botti and the singing group Il Volo will join Streisand as special guests. (8 PM, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Info/tickets.)

Colman Domingo

Tuesday, October 9 PREVIEWS→ Writer and actor Colman Domingo stars in his play Wild With Happy. The Tony nominee shares the stage with Korey Jackson, Maurice McRae and Sharon Washington to tell the story of a man tasked with scattering his mother's ashes in the happiest place on earth — Disneyland. Directed by Robert O'Hara. Officially opens Oct. 23. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.)

OPENS→ Grammy-winning comedian Lewis Black will bring his patented brand of fuming humor to the Great White Way with his standup show Running on Empty. The "Daily Show" regular (and Playbill Broadway on the High Seas performer!) will talk, what else?, politics as we creep ever closer to Election Day. (Through Oct. 20, Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, October 10
OPENING→ One of the first productions to christen the Atlantic Theater Company's new and improved Linda Gross Theatre, Harper Regan, officially opens. In the acclaimed drama by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens (whose sold out Bluebird played the Atlantic last year), a troubled woman (Mary McCann) picks up one day and abandons her husband and daughter — clearly leaving plenty of questions and heartache in her wake. (Through Oct. 28, Linda Gross Theatre, 336 W. 20th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, October 11
OPENING→ The Roundabout Theatre Company boasts a bevy of artistic heavy hitters in their revival of Edmond Rostand's masterwork Cyrano de Bergerac. Tony winner Douglas Hodge, who wowed Broadway audiences in the 2010 revival of La Cage aux Folles, returns to the boards as the title player — a swordsman and wordsmith whose large proboscis precludes him from finding true love. French actress Clémence Poésy co-stars as the fair Roxane, the object of Cyrano's unrequited love. But alas, Roxane loves another more comely suitor — the handsome but dim Christian (Kyle Soller). (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ The hit musical Wicked hosts an anti-bulling post-show talkback on National Coming Out Day with syndicated columnist Dan Savage (co-founder of the It Gets Better Project) and rugby star Ben Cohen (founder of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation). Savage and Cohen will be joined by Wicked cast member Kyle Dean Massey and EW editor Jess Cagle. A portion of the ticket price will be donated to both of the above organizations. (Gershwin Theatre, 222 W. 51st St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Friday, October 12
PREVIEWS→ Tony winner Anthony LaPaglia will portray Richard Nixon in Checkers, a new play by Douglas McGrath about the disgraced politician and his relationship with his wife Pat (played by "Law & Order" star Kathryn Erbe) years before his name would become political poison. Officially opens Oct. 28. (Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St., btwn. Irving Place & Union Square East. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Tony winner Shuler Hensley bulks up for the New York premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale. Hensley plays a 600-pound recluse hoping to reconnect with his estranged daughter before eating himself to death. Official opens Nov. 5. (The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

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

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