The WEEK AHEAD: July 23-29

Inside Track   The WEEK AHEAD: July 23-29
We celebrate legends this WEEK AHEAD

Recreating Gershwin… an uptown ode to Berlin… Million Dollar masters claim Off-Broadway… and the Empire State celebrates its legendary move for equality!

Saturday, July 23
GO? Ravinia Festival will continue its 2011 summer season with a celebration of George Gershwin, who performed at the famous Illinois site in 1936. The concert — featuring Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell and more — will re-create that famous concert where audience members were so enraptured by the musical legend, they climbed nearby trees to catch a glimpse. On the roster for the rest of the fest are Rufus Wainwright (Aug. 14), Laura Benanti (Aug. 27) and Mandy Patinkin (Aug. 31). (200 Ravinia Park Rd. Highland Park, IL, 60035, info/tickets)

Sunday, July 24
Rory O'Mally makes the announcement outside the St. James Theatre July 13.GO? In celebration of last month’s passage of New York’s marriage equality bill, and the first weekend where same-sex marriages will be allowed in the Empire State, Hair, the original free love musical will host a “Be-In” to benefit Broadway Impact, a non-profit started by former tribe member Gavin Creel and The Book of Mormon’s Rory O’Malley. This special performance at downtown's Rockwood Music Hall will feature songs from the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. A day later, the show will hold a same-sex wedding ceremony for a few lucky couples on stage at Hair’s summer Broadway home, the St. James Theatre. (9 PM, Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., btwn. Houston & Stanton, info/tickets)

One Night Stand - The MovieGO? "One Night Stand," a new documentary that chronicles the making of the 24 Hour Musicals event in 2009, which boasted the creation of new musicals in a 24-hour period, premieres at Manhattan’s LGBT film festival, NewFest. Included in the film are Cheyenne Jackson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Richard Kind, Mandy Gonzalez, Tracie Thoms, Nellie McKay and Rachel Dratch. The film shows the behind-the-scenes story of how this talented group of artists was able to turn around amazing musicals in just a day. I remember this night, and I can attest to the fact that it was an extraordinarily impressive evening! (8:15 PM, SVA 1, 333 W. 23 St., at 9th Ave., info/tickets)

Monday, July 25
GClockwise from top left: Sally Wilfert, JR Bruno, Cindy Marchionda and Chris HochO? Yearning for some Christmas cheer during these hot summer nights? Look no further than Naughty/Nice, a new musical comedy featuring Broadway’s Robin De Jesús, Elizabeth Stanley, Kathy Voytko, Kate Wetherhead, Sally Wilfert, JR Bruno, Cindy Marchionda and Chris Hoch as bratty kids looking to Santa for some gifts. Naughty/Nice features musical direction by Drama Desk winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell, music by Gerald Stockstill and lyrics by Playbill’s own Kenneth Jones. Directed by Jeff Talbott. Proceeds support the non-profit ASTEP/Artists Striving to End Poverty. It’s sold out, but there's a waiting list, so try your luck. (7 PM, Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St., btwn. 10th & 11th Aves., $20, email for tickets)

Tuesday, July 26
Julie Halston and Charles BuschPREVIEWS? Olive and the Bitter Herbs, the latest comedy from the brilliant Charles Busch, begins Off-Broadway, starring Dan Butler, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Richard Masur and longtime Busch collaborator Julie Halston. Halston stars as the titular character, an actress whose height of fame hit in the 1980s when she starred in a sausage commercial. Olive, in an attempt to butter up her neighbors, invites them over for a Passover Seder. When a ghost (not Elijah) pays a visit via Olive’s mirror, hilarity ensues. (Through Sept. 3, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., btwn. Madison & Park Aves., info/tickets. Officially opens Aug. 16.)

Wednesday, July 27
Irving BerlinGO? The 92St. Y continues its “Jazz in July” series with an evening dedicated to Irving Berlin. Grammy-nominated vocalist Sandy Stewart heads up the group of nine talented musicians taking on some of Berlin’s greatest hits such as "Blue Skies," "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "Steppin' Out With My Baby." (8 PM, 92Y at 92nd St. & Lexington Ave., info/tickets)

Thursday, July 28
RE-OPENING? Million Dollar Quartet Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux's Tony-nominated musical based on a real-life 1956 recording made by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis — follows in the footsteps of other “direct-to-Off-Broadway” transfers Avenue Q and The 39 Steps, and re-opens at New World Stages. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Friday, July 29
Florian ZumkehrPREVIEWS? Cirque du Soleil's hipster cousin, Traces, touches down in New York City. 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main), the acrobatic troupe formed by former Cirque members, infuses street performance, dance and traditional circus stunts in an urban-feeling environment. (Union Square Theatre, 100 E. 17th St., btwn. Park and Lexington Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Aug. 8.)

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