THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 15-21: Elaine Stritch Returns to NYC and a Sneak Peek at Sting's Musical

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 15-21: Elaine Stritch Returns to NYC and a Sneak Peek at Sting's Musical's weekly planner reminds you that Elaine Stritch returns to the Big Apple… The Bridges of Madison County brings affairs of the heart to Broadway... Mark Rylance's final Broadway double bill (for now)... and Tarell Alvin McCraney brings Cleopatra's rule to Haiti.

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Saturday, February 15
PREVIEWS→ Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout previews a new play, Satchmo at the Waldorf, about the career and legacy of groundbreaking jazz artist Louis Armstrong. John Douglas Thompson plays Armstrong following what would be his final, and perhaps most triumphant, performance of his career — an evening at Manhattan's famed Waldorf-Astoria. (Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St. btwn 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Sunday, February 16

LAST CHANCE→ Two-time Tony winner Mark Rylance gives Broadway not one, but two, bravura performances in the outstanding Shakespeare double bill Twelfth Night and Richard III. These two masterpieces of revivals, direct from London's Globe Theatre, have been two of the best-reviewed shows of the fall season and some of the hardest tickets to nab. Richard's last performance is scheduled for Feb. 15, while Twelfth Night's is Feb. 16. (Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.) 

Monday, February 17
GO→ Elaine Stritch returns to New York to discuss her life and career a few days shy of the release of a documentary on her retirement from showbiz. The esteemed Tony winner will sit down with "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" director Chiemi Karasawa and writer Michael Musto for what is sure to be a colorful and candid conversation. The film hits theatres Feb. 21. (7 PM, 92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., at 92nd St. Info/tickets.)  Tuesday, February 18
PREVIEWS→ Young gun and new Public Theater artist-in-residence Tarell Alvin McCraney (Brother/Sister Plays) turns his focus to the classics with a new adaptation (that he also directs) of Antony and Cleopatra set on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French. Officially opens March 5. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.) 

Wednesday, February 19
PREVIEWS→ Steven Boyer stars as a student at the Christian Puppet Ministry who has a peculiar run-in with a puppet that resembles the antichrist in Robert Askins' new comedy Hand to God. Officially opens March 10. (Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., btwn. Hudson & Bleecker St. Info/tickets.) 

Thursday, February 20

Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale
Photo by Joan Marcus

OPENING→ The Bridges of Madison County musical, starring Steven Pasquale and Kelli O'Hara as two lovers who embark on a brief but passionate love affair in 1965 Iowa, opens on Broadway. Jason Robert Brown provides the touching score with Bartlett Sher at the helm. (Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

GO (FREE)→ The stars of last year's hit dark comedy Really Really — Zosia Mamet and Evan Jonigkeit — join playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo to discuss the play at a free chat at the Drama Book Shop. (6 PM, Drama Book Shop, 250 W. 40th St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves. Info.) 

Friday, February 21
PREVIEWS→ Can’t get enough of the sexual proclivities of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, the horny twosome from "50 Shades of Grey"? Then check out 50 Shades! The Musical, a parody of E.L. James' mammoth bestselling series. Officially opens March 12. (Elektra Theatre, 300 W. 43rd St., at 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

WATCH—> Catch Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship, (slated to come to Broadway in September!) on an episode of PBS' "Great Performances." This particular great performance was filmed at The Public Theater last year. (9 PM ET, PBS. Check local listings. Info.)

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

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