THE WEEK AHEAD June 21-27: Broadway Bares Heats Up Times Square and Encores! Goes BOOM!

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD June 21-27: Broadway Bares Heats Up Times Square and Encores! Goes BOOM!'s weekly planner reminds you to spend a night in medieval Scotland with Kenneth Branagh… Go Bare for Broadway's hottest night of the year… Lin-Manuel Miranda goes BOOM!... and Norm Lewis, Andre De Shields, Berry Gordy and more take to Carnegie Hall to honor pioneering black men on the Great White Way.
Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth

It's the official start of summer this WEEK AHEAD!

Saturday, June 21
GO (FREE)→ June 21 marks the summer solstice — aka the first official day of summer! The 8th annual Make Music New York festival celebrates the longest day of the year with over 1,000 free outdoor performances scattered throughout the city's streets, sidewalks and parks. (10 AM-10 PM, multiple venues throughout the five boroughs. Click here for a full schedule of events.) 

GO (CA)→ The Hollywood Bowl officially opens for the season with performances by their 2014 Hall of Fame inductees. Included in that esteemed roster is none other than Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, who will be presented her honor by Carol Burnett. Also on the list to appear/perform are Lea Michele, fellow Hall of Famers The Go-Gos and Helen Hunt. (8 PM, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood. Info/tickets.) 

Sunday, June 22
LAST CHANCE→ Mothers and Sons, Terrence McNally's Tony-nominated exploration of a mother's grief following the passing of her son during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, plays its final performance on Broadway. Tony winner Tyne Daly plays the mother in question, who pays a revealing visit to her son's ex-partner (Frederick Weller) to find he has moved on to a wonderful new, family-centered life, with his husband (Bobby Steggert) and young son (Grayson Taylor). (Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

LAST CHANCE→ The 55,000-square-foot Park Avenue Armory has stunningly transformed into 11th-century Scotland for the critically acclaimed Macbeth, imported from the Manchester International Festival. Co-directors Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford set Shakespeare's Scottish Play in a mud-floored, rain-drenched, monolith-surrounded arena that serves as the perfect backdrop for Branagh, who also stars in the title role, to scream (and commit) bloody murder. Read our interview with Branagh about his NY stage bow here. (Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave., btwn. 66th & 67th Sts. Info/tickets.)  GO→ Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov star in the absurdist avant-garde black comedy The Old Woman, based on the writings of Soviet-eva surrealist Daniil Kharms. Just think of it as a kind of Russian Waiting for Godot! (Through June 29, BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn. Info/tickets.) 

Constantine Maroulis

GO→ Broadway's naughtiest night of the year, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Broadway Bares, returns to NYC for its 24th annual edition, cheekily entitled Rock Hard! The famous burlesque revue promises Broadway's best bodies scantily clad in a celebration of music, dance and safe sex. Alan Cumming, Bianca Del Rio, Andy Karl, Lesli Margherita, Constantine Maroulis, Patrick Page and Christopher Sieber are on the star-studded roster of featured guests and performers. (9:30 PM & Midnight, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.) 

Monday, June 23
GO→ Norm Lewis, Andre De Shields, Larry Marshall, Adrian Bailey, Brandon Victor Dixon, Dule Hill and many others gather at Carnegie Hall to pay homage to African-American men and their contributions to the theatre. Black Stars of The Great White Way will feature performances from Motown, The Lion King, Dreamgirls, Five Guys Named Moe, Ain't Misbehavin' and Porgy and Bess, and will honor the pioneering efforts of innovative African-American artists like Berry Gordy, Robert Guillaume and producer Stephen Byrd. (8 PM, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., at 57th St., tickets start at $35. Info/tickets.) 

GO→ Sutton Foster, Jane Lynch, Jonathan Groff, Zachary Quinto, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Lithgow, Billy Porter and more join together to sing the songs of A Chorus Line, They're Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl, Sweet Smell of Success and "The Way We Were" scribe Marvin Hamlisch in One Thrilling Combination. (8 PM, Delacorte Theatre, Central Park, enter at 81st St. and Central Park West or at 79th St. and 5th Ave. Info/tickets.) 

Tuesday, June 24
GO→ Lincoln Center's annual summer series, Midsummer Night Swing, kicks off this week at the beautiful open-air dance floor constructed in Damrosch Park. The three-week dance party/lessons encompasses myriad music and dance styles, from the Mambo to the Merengue to the Hustle and the Lindy Hop. (Through July 12, nightly at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, Amsterdam and W. 62nd St., single tickets start at $17. Info/tickets.) 

GO→ Nathan Lane's Tony-nominated star turn in The NanceDouglas Carter Beane's exploration of homophobia in the vaudeville era — will screen at more than 300 cinemas across the country and Canada. (Through June 30. Info/tickets on a theatre near you.) 

Wednesday, June 25
GO→ In the Heights' onstage loves, Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo, star in the Encores! Off-Center production of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick… BOOM! "Smash" star Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the pair for Larson's autobiographical first musical about an aspiring composer approaching the age of 30. (Through June 28, City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.) 

Thursday, June 26
PREVEWS→ Piece of My Heart, a new musical about a prolific songwriter you've probably never heard of, comes to NYC. Heart explores the short life of Bert Berns (he died of a heart attack at just 38), scribe of hits like "Twist and Shout," "Tell Him," "I Want Candy," "Hang On Sloopy" and "Cry, Baby." Officially opens July 21. (The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

Friday, June 27
GO→ Everybooty, a "multi-genre, multi-gender celebration of queer culture," celebrates New York City Pride Month. The one-night-only event, hosted by Justin Vivian Bond (Kiki & Herb) includes building-wide performances from musicians, dancers, visual artists, DJs and drag performers — all in the name of pride! (8 PM-2 AM, BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Pl., Brooklyn, tickets start at $20. Info/tickets.) 

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