THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 29-Jan. 4: Christmas Story and Bring It On Close; Broadway Stars Ring in the New Year

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 29-Jan. 4: Christmas Story and Bring It On Close; Broadway Stars Ring in the New Year's weekly planner reminds you that Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole, Lewis Black and more have gigs on New Year's Eve… Bring It On tosses its last cheerleader… Flashdance spreads the "feeling" across the country… and Pippin has "Magic to Do" in Cambridge. Kick off 2013 in style this WEEK AHEAD!
Taylor Louderman
Taylor Louderman Photo by Craig Schwartz


Saturday, Dec. 29
LAST CHANCE→ Spreading the holiday anti-cheer is everyone's favorite sassy scrooge, Jackie Hoffman, in a return engagement of her holiday show A Chanukah Charol. The Hoffman-ized take on Patrick Stewart's Christmas Carol has the funny lady revisiting holidays past, present and future. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., info/tickets.)

Sunday, December 30
LAST CHANCE→ Bring It On: The Musical tosses its last cheerleader when it closes on Broadway. The spunky new musical about cutthroat high school politics and basket tosses is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Amanda Green and Jeff Whitty and stars Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren as the two popular girls in their respective high schools. Directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ Ralphie and the entire Parker family celebrate a perfectly unperfect Christmas in Indiana in A Christmas Story, The Musical, a new musical based on the beloved 1983 film of the same name. Featuring a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, it stars Johnny Rabe as Ralphie, John Bolton as The Old Man, Erin Dilly as Mother and Dan Lauria as the narrator. (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

Monday, December 31
GO→ Ring in the New Year with Patti LuPone! The two-time Tony Award winner (and star of Playbill's Broadway on the High Seas 3 cruise!) will bring her celebrated Far Away Places back to 54 Below for one night only. The new solo show features the Broadway diva singing songs like "Gypsy In My Soul," the Bee Gees' "Nights on Broadway," Kurt Weill's "September Song" and some Broadway encore surprises! (54 Below, 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.) GO→ Another two-time Tony Award winner and Broadway on the High Seas headliner, Christine Ebersole, will be spending her New Year's uptown at Feinstein's (with, who else?, Michael Feinstein) for a special holiday engagement — the very last show at the famed nitery on Park Avenue. Expect standards, Broadway hits and a few holiday selections with music director John Oddo leading the swingin' band. (Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St., info/tickets.)

GO→ Another Broadway on the High Seas alum, Lewis Black, will play a special New Year's Eve show at the intimate Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café. (Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., info, call 212-695-6909 for tickets.)

Cheyenne Jackson
photo by Karl Simone

GO (DC)→ Broadway's favorite babe, Cheyenne Jackson, rings in the New Year in our nation's capital for New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center: Cheyenne Jackson…Music of the Mad Men Era. Steven Reineke will lead the National Symphony Orchestra and Tony winner Nina Arianda will stop by to share the bill of songs from the 1950s and '60s. (8:30 PM, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 2700 F. St., NW Washington, DC, info/tickets.)

Tuesday, January 1
OPENING→ Flashdance — The Musical kicks off a 20-city tour in Pittsburgh, the same city where the hit 1983 film is set. The musicalized version of the film about a sexy steel mill welder who moonlights as an exotic dancer but dreams of being a professional performer premiered in London in 2010 and has undergone extensive changes before launching this U.S. tour. A Broadway engagement is likely in the spring. Expect an original score by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary, peppered with famous tunes from the movie like "Flashdance — What a Feeling," "Maniac," "Gloria" and "I Love Rock & Roll." (Through January 6, Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh PA, info/tickets.)

Wednesday, January 2
GO→ Donna McKechnie, Tony Award winner and one of Broadway's most brilliant dancers, joins John McDaniel for Same Place: Another Time. In this brand-new show, the Chorus Line star celebrates the songs of Studio 54's heyday including tunes from Peter Allen, Jim Croce, Stephen Sondheim to A Chorus Line composer, Marvin Hamlisch. (Through Jan. 6, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

Thursday, January 3
OPENING (MA)→ Director Diane Paulus has gained quite a reputation for taking classic musicals (read Hair and Porgy and Bess) and reinventing them for today’s audiences. The Tony nominee has now set her sights on Stephen Schwartz's Pippin. Matthew James Thomas stars in the title role with Patina Miller as the Leading Player, Tony Award winner Andrea Martin as Berthe, Terrence Mann as King Charles, Charlotte d'Amboise as Fastrada, Erik Altemus as Lewis, Andrew Cekala as Theo and Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine. This new vision retains the classic Fosse choreography but adds in new circus elements courtesy of Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main. (Through January 20, A.R.T., 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA., info/tickets.)

Friday, January 4 GO→ Playing the late-night circuit at 54 Below is Tony winner Michael Cerveris. Cerveris will play with his blues and honkytonk band Loose Cattle for a show that fuses downhome jamming with contemporary tunes. Cerveris will come straight from the Marquis Theatre, where he currently plays Peron in the revival of Evita through Jan. 26. (Fridays through Feb. 15, 54 Below, 245 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

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

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