THE WEEK AHEAD, June 2-8: Death of a Salesman Ends Broadway Run, 54 Below Opens, Shakespeare in the Park Begins

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, June 2-8: Death of a Salesman Ends Broadway Run, 54 Below Opens, Shakespeare in the Park Begins's weekly planner reminds you that the end of an epic Salesman is here… Kristin Chenoweth returns to New York… Barack is on Broadway… Shakespeare in the Park turns 50… and Broadway gets a new nightclub. June is bustin' out all over this WEEK AHEAD!
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Saturday, June 2
LAST CHANCE→ Mike Nichols' celebrated revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is easily one of the season's — if not the last decade's — most poignant and gut-wrenching productions. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Andrew Garfield, Linda Emond and Finn Wittrock expertly portray the trials and tribulations of the troubled Loman family in a revival that pays homage to Elia Kazan's groundbreaking 1949 production. It closes today. (Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

GO→ Pint-sized powerhouse performer Kristin Chenoweth continues her multi-city national tour with a stop in New York! Chenoweth promises a potpourri of song selections from Broadway tunes (from Les Miz to Wicked to Phantom of the Opera) to pop standards (including a very famous Dolly Parton number) to the Great American Songbook. The tour will move on to Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta and ending in her hometown of Broken Arrow, OK. Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander. (8 PM, City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., here.)

Sunday, June 3
GO→ Brooke Shields and Brian d'Arcy James will host the 57th Annual Drama Desk Awards at New York City's Town Hall. On the docket to present are Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, Bernadette Peters, Doug Wright, Rick Elice, Maury Yeston, William Finn, Roger Rees, Alex Timbers, Peggy Eisenhauer, Jonathan Tunick, Oskar Eustis, Jenny Gersten, Martha Plimpton, John Larroquette and Julie Halston. (8 PM, The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., general admission $45-$85, info/tickets.)

Patti LuPone
photo by Ethan Hill

Monday, June 4
GO→ Broadway rolls out the red carpet for a starry political fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Barack on Broadway will be headlined by President Bill Clinton and promises performances by Patti LuPone, Megan Hilty, Norbert Leo Butz, Stockard Channing, James Earl Jones, Cheyenne Jackson, Mandy Patinkin, Audra McDonald and more. The evening will be directed by George C. Wolfe and hosted by Thomas Schumacher, and producers Margo Lion, Michael David, Lauren Mitchell, Roger Berlind and Paul Boskind. (New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 W. 42nd St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., for tickets, email, info.)

PREVIEWS→ Slowgirl marks the first production of Lincoln Center's new LCT3 Claire Tow Theater — an intimate venue atop the Vivian Beaumont Theater — dedicated to producing the work of new playwrights. Greg Pierce's drama follows a teenager (Sarah Steele) who goes to the secluded compound of her uncle (Tony nominee Željko Ivanek) to seek solace after a horrific accident. Directed by Anne Kauffman. (LCT3's Claire Tow Theater, 150 W. 65th St., btwn. Broadway and Amsterdam, info/tickets. Officially opens June 18.)

Tuesday, June 5
OPENING→ Patti LuPone will kick off the inaugural season of 54 Below, a new theatre-district nightclub and restaurant underneath the famed Studio 54. Following LuPone in shows throughout the summer are Ben Vereen, Brian d'Arcy James, Andrea Martin, Jackie Hoffman, Rebecca Luker, Lance Horne and Justin Vivian Bond. (Through June 16, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., info/tickets.)

Lily Rabe
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

PREVIEWS→ The Public Theater kicks off its 50th anniversary season of free Shakespeare in the Park with a starry version of As You Like It, starring Lily Rabe as Rosalind, Tony winner Stephen Spinella as Jacques, Oliver Platt as the court jester Touchstone, Andre Braugher as Duke Senior/Duke Frederick and David Furr as Orlando. Daniel Sullivan directs with original music by comedian and bluegrass musician Steve Martin. (Delacorte Theater, Central Park, enter at 81st St. and Central Park West. Officially opens June 21. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, June 6
GO (FREE)→ Noah Racey directs a free staged reading of Anne Berlin's rom-com La Strega, about a modern-day witch who meddles in the lives of her friends in the hopes of bringing them true love — only to have her spells go awry. Lysistrata Jones' Patti Murin stars alongside her real-life husband Curtis Holbrook. The reading is part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, an eco-friendly/socially conscious arts fest in New York City. (Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., reservations are recommended. Info here or call 1-866-811-4111.) Thursday, June 7
OPENING→ Kenneth Lonergan's Medieval Play receives its world premiere at the new Pershing Square Signature Center. Lonergan's new comedy, which he also directs, follows two French mercenary knights at the turn of the 15th century who set out "on a quest for relative moral redemption." (The costume comedy is a mix of "SNL" absurdity and socio-political criticism.) Tate Donovan, Josh Hamilton and John Pankow star. (Through June 24. The Irene Diamond Stage, 480 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Friday, June 8
GO (Seattle)→ Comedian-playwright (and Broadway on the High Seas performer!) Lewis Black brings his new play One Slight Hitch to the West Coast. The '80s-set comedy follows a bride about to walk down the aisle at a very lavish wedding. All seems well, until her ex-boyfriend comes back to haunt her. Hitch is also slated to play the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in July. (ACT, 700 Union St., Seattle, WA. Info/tickets.)

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

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