THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 10-16: A Clear Day and Lysistrata Jones Open on Broadway; The Road to Mecca Begins

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 10-16: A Clear Day and Lysistrata Jones Open on Broadway; The Road to Mecca Begins's weekly planner reminds you that Harry Connick, Jr. sees a Clear Day… Jackie Hoffman is a Chanukah Scrooge… Aristophanes shoots hoops on Broadway… and Rosemary Harris sets out on the Road to Mecca.
Annette Bening
Annette Bening Photo by Krissie Fullerton


Saturday, December 10
GO (Los Angeles)→ Annette Bening, Bryan Cranston, Peter Gallagher, Leslie Jordan and Shirley Jones team up for a one-day-only staged reading of the classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life," to benefit The Actors Fund. Tony Palermo's adaptation is colored with the nostalgia of a live radio play and includes pre-show entertainment by the caroling trio The Chantilly Sisters. (3 PM & 8 PM, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, December 11
OPENING→ Harry Connick, Jr. stars in director Michael Mayer's gender-bending reincarnated version of Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner's musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Connick plays Mark Bruckner, a doctor tasked with helping a florist named David (David Turner) quit smoking. When Bruckner hypnotizes his patient, he discovers that in David's previous life, he was a beautiful jazz singer named Melinda (Jessie Mueller) who died the day David was born. David falls for Bruckner but can't have him because he's straight, and Bruckner falls for Melinda but can't have her because she's dead! As Mayer told "Now that's a love triangle." (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Everybody's favorite funny lady, Jackie Hoffman, spreads the holiday non-cheer with A Chanukah Charol, a twist on the classic Dickens tale that finds Hoffman revisiting her life via the Ghosts of Chanukah past. (Dec. 11, 18 & Jan. 2, New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Monday, December 12
GO→ The fourth annual New York City Christmas concert will feature Raúl Esparza, Sherie Rene Scott, Lindsay Mendez, Sierra Boggess and Orfeh singing newly arranged versions of holiday classics off of the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records' album of the same name. (Think Broadway belting on "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," "Silent Night," and "O Holy Night.") The evening will benefit Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP). (7 PM, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.) GO→ Danny Burstein hosts the New Voices Collective's In Development: New Songs from New Shows. The show promises to give audiences a sneak peek at songs from shows in development including works from Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family) and Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of Our Parents) sung by big Broadway voices like Rebecca Luker, Lauren Kennedy, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Michael Winther and Nick Cosgrove. (Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St., $25-$35. Info/tickets.)

Barbara Cook
photo by Mike Martin

Tuesday, December 13
GO→ In honor of Barbara Cook's recent Kennedy Center Honor, her monthlong set of concerts with Michael Feinstein at his eponymous nightclub will feature special "roll back" prices to reflect the cost of a ticket in 1999 (the year the club opened). So, for $60 and no food/drink minimum, you get to see one of musical theatre's most treasured icons perform alongside the master of the Great American Songbook. Seems like a steal to me! (Through Dec. 30, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St. Info/tickets.) Wednesday, December 14
OPENING→ Ancient Greece gets thrust into the 21st century thanks to Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn's Lysistrata Jones, a pop music version of the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes. In Jones, Lyssie J. rallies the cheerleading squad at Athens University to not "give it up" to their basketball player-boyfriends in the hopes it'll break their losing streak. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W 48th St. btwn. Broadway and 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, December 15
GO→ Eight Days More, a holiday concert that calls itself a "Les Misérables Tribute to Hanukkah," will feature Matt Cavanaugh, Michael Schulman, Billy Zavelson, Rachel Shukert, Jesse Oxfeld and Playbill's own Seth Rudetsky singing hilarious twists on the classic Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alan Boublil tunes (expect "Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry Jews?"). Written by Rachel Shukert. (7:30 PM, 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St., at Canal St., $20-$25. Info/tickets.)

Friday, December 16
PREVIEWS→ Carla Gugino and Tony winners Rosemary Harris and Jim Dale star in the Broadway premiere of Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca, the story of an elderly woman fighting to remain in the South African home that she has transformed into a work of art following the death of her husband. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Officially opens Jan. 17. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

SEE→ Roman Polanski’s film adaptation of Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning comedy God of Carnage hits theatres. “Carnage” stars John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz as a group of parents who come together after a playground fight between their two young sons. What starts out as a controlled, if not amiable, conversation turns into an all-out battle complete with verbal sparring, psychological jabs and even some vomit. (listings)

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

Kat Nejat, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Patti Murin, LaQuett Sharnell and Katie Boren in <i>Lysistrata Jones</i>.
Kat Nejat, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Patti Murin, LaQuett Sharnell and Katie Boren in Lysistrata Jones. Photo by Joan Marcus
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