The WEEK AHEAD: Oct. 15-21

Inside Track   The WEEK AHEAD: Oct. 15-21
Sam Waterston weathers the storm of King Lear… speaking of family dysfunction, Relatively Speaking’s Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Elaine May put a comedic spin on families in turmoil … Neil LaBute and David Henry Hwang take on the One-Minute Play (for you economical theatre lovers)…. and the 22nd Annual New York Cabaret Convention


Saturday, October 15
Ellen BurstynPREVIEW? Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner Ellen Burstyn and Tony winner John Glover star in David Bar Katz's The Atmosphere of Memory, about a playwright struggling with the development of an autobiographical play. The drama starts manifesting offstage once the playwright’s real-life mother gets cast in the play and his estranged father resurfaces. (Through Nov. 13, LAByrinth Theater Company, 155 Bank St., btwn. Washington & West Sts., info/tickets. Officially opens Oct. 30.)

Sunday, October 16
GO? Primary Stages’ third annual New York One-Minute Play Festival will feature one-minute shorts from dozens of high-profile writers including Tina Howe, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Neil LaBute, Donald Margulies and Lydia R. Diamond. The fest will travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Brunswick, Chicago, South Florida, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, and the DC/Baltimore Metro area throughout the 2011-2012 season. (59E59 Theatres, 59 E. 59th St., btw. Park & Madison Aves., $20-$50, info/tickets)

Monday, October 17
GO? Short plays from Tanya Barfield, Bathsheba Doran, Richard Dresser, Daniel Goldfarb, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Jeanine Tesori and Alfred Uhry take center stage the annual Stories on 5 Stories benefit. Each writer will present a different play focusing on the airing of dirty laundry. Performers — including Dana Ivey, Parker Posey, Campbell Scott, Josh Hamilton, two-time Tony Award winner Judd Hirsch, Tony winner Tonya Pinkins, and Daniel Breaker — will stage the different vignettes throughout Playwrights Horizons’ five-story home on 42nd Street. (8 PM, Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves., info/tickets)

Tuesday, October 18
Sam WaterstonPREVIEWS? Oscar nominee Sam Waterston returns to the Public Theater, and to the Bard, for King Lear. Waterston plays the tragic monarch who descends into madness after abandoning his youngest daughter (Kristen Connolly) and is betrayed by his other daughters and their scheming husbands (Kelli O’Hara, Enid Graham, Frank Wood and Richard Topol). Tony winner Bill Irwin plays Lear’s not-so-foolish Fool. (Through Nov. 20, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., info/tickets. Officially opens Nov. 8.)

Wednesday, October 19
GO? Comedian and New Yorker writer Andy Borowitz hosts The Fifty Funniest American Writers, a collection of humor writing from the likes of Mark Twain, David Sedaris and the staff of The Onion read by director/writer Nora Ephron (Love, Loss & What I Wore, “Julie & Julia”), writer and performer Jenny Allen (I Got Sick Then I Got Better), and humorist Calvin Trillin. (8 PM, 92nd St. Y, 92nd St. and Lexington Ave., info/tickets)

Thursday, October 20
OPENING? Relatively Speaking — an evening of one-act plays by Woody Allen (Honeymoon Motel), Ethan Coen (Talking Cure) and Elaine May (George Is Dead) — tackles how the relationships between family members, spouses, lovers, and even distant acquaintances can drive people crazy. Tackling the various levels of insanity are Marlo Thomas, Steve Guttenberg, Julie Kavner, Caroline Aaron, Bill Army, Lisa Emery, Ari Graynor, Danny Hoch, Grant Shaud, Katherine Borowitz, Jason Kravits, Richard Libertini, Mark Linn-Baker and Patricia O'Connell. Keeping it all together is director John Turturro. (Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

GO? The 22nd Annual New York Cabaret Convention kicks off with an opening night gala featuring Liz Callaway, Barbara Carroll and Christine Ebersole. The three-day convention continues with a tribute to Margaret Whiting hosted by Andrea Marcovicci; and Stars Are Bright on Saturday Night, featuring an array of singers including Amra Faye Wright, Karen Oberlin, Nancy Anderson, and Anna Bergman. (All shows begin at 6 PM, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St., info/tickets)

Friday, October 21
GO? Tony winner Joanna Gleason stars in the New York premiere of the dark comedy Sons of Prophet by Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate). Prophet revolves around a Lebanese-American  family in crisis and a Manhattan book editor who sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong. (Through Dec. 23, Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Ave., info/tickets)

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