The WEEK AHEAD: Feb. 26-March 4

Inside Track   The WEEK AHEAD: Feb. 26-March 4
The President, the Duke and the Bard walk into a bar…that’s what “on tap” this WEEK AHEAD. 

Kick off the weekend with a rarely performed opera from the Duke (Ellington)…sit down for a “fireside chat” (minus the fire) with the President (of Jujamcyn, Jordan Roth) and Liev Schreiber…and catch up with The Bard as he does his best Sherlock Holmes impression. Plus—two big Broadway openings!

Friday, February 26th
EllingtonGODuke Ellington (undeniably one of the greatest musicians of all time) wrote one opera in his lifetime entitled Queenie Pie. It would be one of the last things he would ever attempt to write, and it remained unfinished at the time of his death in the 70s.  This story of a Harlem beauty queen returns home for Black History Month thanks to the Harlem Opera Theatre. (7:30pm, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard @ 135th St, $26-$31, info/tickets)


WATCH? Tony winner Anika Noni Rose hosts the 41st annual NAACP Image Awards. Tyler Perry and Wyclef Jean are among the honorees with Jamie Foxx, Myrlie Evers Williams, Mo’Nique, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock, Gabourey Sidibe, Alfre Woodard, Mariah Carey, and Mekhi Phifer scheduled to appear. (8/7c on FOX)

Saturday, February 27th
GO?Talkbacks are becoming as regular in theatres as Playbills…but this one caught our eye.  Tony and Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes joins his stellar cast (Michelle Beck, Christian Camargo, Stephen Dillane, Alvin Epstein, Ron Cephas Jones, Juliet Rylance and Thomas Sadoski) to talk about The Bridge Project, the budding transatlantic partnership between BAM, The Old Vic, and Neal Street Productions, currently in its second year at BAM with The Tempest and As You Like It. (5pm, BAM’s Harvey Theatre, $15, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, info/tickets)

GO (FREE)? Tony winner Ben Vereen hosts a free day of gospel music in honor of Black History Month, featuring bands, soloists and of course, gospel choirs.  (10am-5pm, World Financial Center – Winter Garden, West St. btw. Vesey & Liberty Sts.)

Sunday, February 28th
GO? Ah, the understudy!  Some of the hardest working (and least recognized) people in show biz. Musicals Tonight! give the standbys a change to stand up and be heard with At This Performance!, a showcase of understudies singing current musical hits. Oh, and if you’re one of those “groaners” who whine when an “at this performance” slip ends up in one of your Playbills, just remember…Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Bebe Neuwirth, were all once understudies!  (Though April 19, 8pm, McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street, $25, info/tickets)

Monday, March 1st Jujamcyn President Jordan Roth kicks off a series of discussions with some of Broadway’s hottest stars, starting with current A View from the Bridge star Liev Schreiber.  Others joining Roth throughout the series include Laura Linney, Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes. (8:15pm, 92st Y at Lexington, $27, info/tickets)



GO (AND HELP)? Two performances are on deck this Monday, all benefiting orgainizations helping those affected by the Haiti Earthquake. They are:

? Rockers to Rebuild: Alice Ripley, Constantine Maroulis and Bobby Spencer, plus cast members from shows like Jersey Boys, Billy Elliot, and West Side Story join Grammy winner Larry Gatlin and Gene Cornish (The Rascals) for the 17th year of the Rockers on Broadway show. Proceeds this year go to Save The Children and UNICEF. (8pm, B.B. King Blues Club, 237 W. 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, $40-$45, info/tickets)

? Human Heart Benefit: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty get together a group of performers from all across the map including Mario Cantone and Tituss Burgess for The Human Heart: Helping Haiti's Children. Proceeds from ticket sales go to After The Storm directly to SOS Children’s Villages. (7pm, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette,$40-$100, info/tickets)

Tuesday, March 2nd
OPENING? Bill Cain's Eqivocation explores an investigation into the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605 (a foiled plan to displace Protestant rule in England by blowing up Parliament),  by none other than the greatest playwright in history, William Shakespeare. Directed by Tony winner Garry Hynes. (NY City Center, 131 W. 55th Street, Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Wednesday, March 3rd
The Miracle Worker stars Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill.OPENING? The Miracle Worker gets its first revival in over forty years. Abigail Breslin stars as Helen Keller and Alison Pill as Annie Sullivan (originally played by Patti Duke and Anne Bancroft respectfully). (Circle in the Square Theater, 235 W. 50th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues, Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Thursday, March 4th

(Clockwise from top left) Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Zoe Kazan and Anthony Mackie

OPENING? Christopher Walken pairs up with the darkest dude on Broadway, Martin McDonagh, for A Behanding in Spokane, a dark comedy about a man searching for his missing hand.  It’s dark…it’s funny…it’s 100% McDonagh.  Also starring Sam Rockwell, Anthony Mackie and Zoe Kazan.  (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenues, Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

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