THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 12-18: Picnic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Manilow Open on Broadway; Clive Begins

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 12-18: Picnic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Manilow Open on Broadway; Clive Begins's weekly planner reminds you that Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker "occupy the same cage" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof… Brat Packer Molly Ringwald sings for her supper… Ethan Hawke returns to the '90s… and Fanilows ready for Barry on Broadway! Cats, Brats, Hawkes and Fanilows dominate this WEEK AHEAD!
Sebastian Stan and Maggie Grace
Sebastian Stan and Maggie Grace Photo by Joan Marcus


Saturday, January 12
GO→ The popular Lyrics & Lyricists series returns to the 92nd Street Y with The Very Model of a Modern Major Lyricist — a celebration of W.S. Gilbert by Lyrics & Lyricists curator Rob Fisher and host Sheldon Harnick. Broadway's Jason Danieley, David Garrison and Mary Testa will be on hand to sing highlights from the Gilbert & Sullivan songbook as well as songs from other musical comedies. (Through Jan. 14, 92nd Street Y, 92nd St. & Lexington Ave., tickets start at $52. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, January 13
OPENING→ William Inge's 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Picnic returns to Broadway in a revival by Roundabout. The ensemble features Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Marvel, Maggie Grace, Ellen Burstyn, Reed Birney and Sebastian Stan in this Sam Gold-directed classic about the residents of a town in the American Heartland whose lives are turned around by a comely and mysterious drifter. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn 7th & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

GO→ Idina Menzel flies into Carnegie Hall for a special stop on the Tony winner's tour. Following the concert at the famed Manhattan venue, Menzel will play Phoenix's Symphony Hall and then jet off for a performance in Australia! (Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., at 57th St. Call 212-247-7800 for tickets.)

Monday, January 14
GO→ Original members from the companies of Grease, Nine and Grand Hotel reunite to honor fellow cast mate Kathi Moss (who was diagnosed with a rare cardiac disease in 2011) for Kathi Moss' Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong Reunion. On the bill are Jane Krakowski, songwriter Maury Yeston, Liliane Montevecci, Mark Baker, Karen Akers, choreographer Pat Birch and more. Proceeds benefit The Actors Fund. (7 PM, Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, 480 W. 42nd St., at 10th Ave. Tickets start at $50. Info/tickets.) Tuesday, January 15
WATCH→ PBS honors those ladies who broke boundaries with their stunning sense of humor with a new special, "Funny Ladies," featuring classic clips and interviews with Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey and Margaret Cho. (Info/check local listings.)

Benjamin Walker and Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
photo by Joan Marcus

Wednesday, January 16
LAST CHANCE→ Brat pack leader Molly Ringwald tries her hand at the cabaret game with An Evening With Molly Ringwald. You'll remember that Ringwald was one of several starlets to play Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of Cabaret and later starred opposite Elizabeth Ashley in the short-lived comedy Enchanted April before hitting the road to headline the national tour of Sweet Charity. Now, she's stepping into a more intimate venue. Accompanied by a jazz quartet, Ringwald will take on jazzy renditions of songs like "Just You, Just Me," "Mean To Me" and the classic '80s anthem from "The Breakfast Club," "Don't You Forget About Me." (7:30 PM, Studio 54, 254 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, January 17
OPENING→ Tony winner Scarlett Johansson takes on the role of sex-starved sex kitten Maggie in director Rob Ashford's Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Inhabitants of the tension-filled Mississippi home at the heart of the Tennessee Williams classic include Benjamin Walker as Brick, Tony winner Debra Monk as Big Mama and Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy. (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Ethan Hawke directs and stars in the world premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Clive. The multimedia play with music and "sound sculptures" follows a dissipated songwriter in the 1990s. Hawke shares the stage with oe Kazan, Brooks Ashmanskas and the playwright himself. Officially opens Feb. 7. (The Acorn Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

GO→ John Lithgow's hilarious performance in Arthur Wing Pinero's Victorian farce The Magistrate will be the latest London show to be seen by American audiences by way of National Theatre Live, the National Theatre's popular stages-to-cinema series. (Info/local screening info.)

FRIDAY, January 18
OPENING→ Expect hoards of Fanilows lining 44th Street when Barry Manilow begins his limited engagement in Manilow On Broadway at the St. James. And what would a Manilow concert be without his biggest hits like "Mandy," "It's a Miracle," "Could It Be Magic," "I Write the Songs," "Tryin' To Get the Feeling Again," "This One's For You," "Weekend in New England," "Looks Like We Made It," "Can't Smile Without You," "Even Now," and the Grammy Award-winning "Copacabana (At the Copa)." (Through Feb. 23, St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Hamish Linklater tries his hand at playwriting with his new dark comedy The Vandal. It stars Deirdre O'Connell, Tony nominee Zach Grenier and Noah Robbins and takes place outside a bus stop one cold evening where two strangers tell each other stories to pass the time. (The Flea, 41 White St. Info/tickets.)

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

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