THE WEEK AHEAD, Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Let It Be, Natasha, Asher Lev Close; Broadway's Menagerie and Big Fish Begin

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Let It Be, Natasha, Asher Lev Close; Broadway's Menagerie and Big Fish Begin's weekly planner reminds you that the sun sets on Natasha, Asher Lev and Let It Be… there's a new Miss Trunchbull in town... La Toya Jackson tries her hand at theatre (that is not a typo!)… Big Fish swims to the boards… and Menagerie makes a new memory on Broadway. Celebrate summer's unofficial end with these Labor Day weekend WEEK AHEAD offerings.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Photo by Jason Bell


Saturday, August 31
LAST CHANCE (CA)→ The West Coast gets its last look at the pre-Broadway engagement of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land starring Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Shuler Hensley and Billy Crudup. Pinter's meditation on life, death, poetry and sexuality joins Samuel Beckett's famously eccentric Waiting for Godot in rep on Broadway this fall, also starring the quartet. (Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., btwn. Addison & Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, September 1
LAST CHANCE→ Let It Be, the Broadway multimedia concert experience featuring the songs of The Beatles, ends its brief run on Broadway. The show chronicles the Fab Four's rise from a small club in Liverpool to worldwide fame through songs like "Twist and Shout," "She Loves Me," "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude." (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ My Name is Asher Lev, adapted from Chaim Potok's best-selling novel of the same name, ends its critically acclaimed run Off-Broadway. Ari Brand plays the title character, an art prodigy who defies the conservative cultural norms of 1950s Hasidic Brooklyn — and a strict father — in order to pursue his true calling. (Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

CASTING→ Matilda's original Tony-nominated cast members, Bertie Carvel and Lauren Ward, play their last performances as Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey, respectively. Beginning Sept. 3, Jill Paice takes over as the compassionate Miss Honey, who comes to the rescue of the titular Matilda, while Craig Bierko tries his hand as the evil Trunchbull, the headmistress that delights in torturing naughty children. (Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.) Monday, September 2
GO→ Christopher Sieber spends his Labor Day with a concert at Manhattan's Birdland Jazz Club. In Minnesota Boy Does Well: Tales From Back & Center Stage, Sieber promises a look at his life and career in song, including tunes from Shrek the Musical, Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and more. (7 PM, Birdland, 315 W. 44th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., $25-$35 with food/drink min. Info/tickets.)

Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele
photo by Ben Arons

LAST CHANCE→ The newest in immersive theatre — Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 — closes at the Meat Packing district temporary dinner theatre space, Kazino. The "electropop opera" from Dave Malloy derives its love story from a small portion of Tolstoy's "War and Peace." Rumors abound about Natasha's post-Kazino life in Manhattan. Question is, will a new version still have those awesome pierogis they serve? We'll have to wait and see. (Kazino, Washington St. & W. 13th St. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, September 3
CASTING→ The pop-culture merry-go-round that is NEWSical The Musical follows up celebrity guest stars Perez Hilton and Carson Kressley with a one-week engagement by La Toya Jackson. (The Kirk at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Wednesday, September 4
GO→ The British are coming (again!) when Matt Charman's The Machine comes to the massive Park Avenue Armory following its premiere at last month’s Manchester International Festival. Hadley Fraser stars as Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess-paying prodigy who famously went up against supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997 for the ultimate "man vs. machine" competition. Staged in the round by Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director, Josie Rourke. (The Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave., btwn. 67th & 68th Sts. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, September 5
PREVIEWS→ Big Fish, a new musical based on the novel and subsequent 2003 Tim Burton film, arrives on Broadway in a flashy Susan Stroman production starring two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert. The fantastical story of a traveling salesman and his epic tales, featuring the music of Andrew Lippa, comes to the Great White Way following a Chicago tryout earlier this year. Officially opens Oct. 6. (Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto and Celia Keenan-Bolger star in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie. The American Repertory Theater's production of the Tennessee Williams classic "memory play" is a creative collaboration of Once's Tony-winning team: director John Tiffany, choreographer Steven Hoggett, lighting designer Natasha Katz, scenic and costume designer Bob Crowley and sound designer Clive Goodwin. Officially opens Sept. 26. (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Friday, September 6
GO (FREE)→ A new, interactive musical adaptation of The Tempest comes to Central Park as a part of the Public Theater's new Public Works initiative. Tony winner Laura Benanti, Norm Lewis, Carlson Elrod and Jeff Hiller lead a diverse, 200-person cast that includes members of non-profits like the Children's Aid Society, Domestic Workers United and the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. (Through Sept. 8, 8 PM, The Public's Delacorte Theater, enter at 81st and Central Park West or 79th St. and 5th Ave. Info.)

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

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