The WEEK AHEAD: Oct. 8-14

Inside Track   The WEEK AHEAD: Oct. 8-14
The leaves are changing and there’s a chill in the air. This can only mean fall is in full swing…and the new theatre season is well under way this WEEK AHEAD.

Frank Langella as a mesmerizing and ruthless Man … speaking ChinglishLinda Lavin in The Lyons' den… and the PBS Arts Fall Festival!


Saturday, October 8
LAST CHANCE? Elaine Stritch formally ends her three-week engagement at the intimate Café Carlyle with the aptly-titled Elaine Stritch At Home at the Carlyle: Singin' Sondheim... Again. Why Not? on Saturday, but fret not Stritch fans, she’ll do an encore performance at the Carlyle on Oct. 15 before heading downtown to perform at the Town Hall at the end of the month. (The Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave., info/tickets)

Sunday, October 9
OPENING? Three-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella stars in Terence Rattigan’s Depression-set 1963 drama Man and Boy. Langella plays Gregor Antonescu, a callous financier who reunites with his estranged son (Adam Driver) in the hopes that they can pull off one last scheme to save G.A.’s multi-million dollar empire. Maria Aitken (The 39 Steps) directs. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Monday, October 10
GO (FREE)? Dana Ivey, Kevin Collins and Bryce Pinkham will read selections from Stephen Mitchell’s new translation of Homer’s “The Illiad” in a free public presentation by Poetry for Peace. Anthony Newfield (who will also participate in the reading) founded Poetry for Peace in 2003 during the start of the Iraq War. Since then, the organization has staged several readings of great works dealing with war and peace. (7 PM, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., at 111th St., info)

Tuesday, October 11
PREVIEWS? Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang brings his critically acclaimed bi-lingual comedy Chinglish to Broadway after its world premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Chinglish follows an American businessman trying to expand his Ohio company in China. He soon realizes the language barrier is only the first hurdle he must overcome. Most of Chinglish’s Chicago cast (including Jennifer Lim) will make the transfer to Broadway. (Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Oct. 27.)

Linda Lavin and Dick LatessaOPENING? Tony winner Linda Lavin passed over not one but two Broadway shows this season (Follies and Other Desert Cities) to star in a new Off-Broadway comedy by Nicky Silver called The Lyons — one she calls “a piece of writing that doesn’t happen very often; you sit down to read [it] and know within the first five pages you’ve got to do it.” Lavin plays Rita Lyon, a woman trying to hold her family together as her husband (Tony winner Dick Latessa) lays dying in a hospital bed. (Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St., btwn. Lexington & Park Aves., info/tickets)

Wednesday, October 12
PREVIEWS? Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities marks Rachel Griffiths’ (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Six Feet Under”) Broadway debut. She'll play a novelist who returns home to Palm Springs for Christmas to share her latest manuscript with her Reaganite parents (Stacy Keach and Stockard Channing), TV producer brother (Thomas Sadoski), and outspoken, newly-sober liberal aunt (Judith Light). As it turns out, this family’s closet is filled with skeletons — ones that the right-wing conservative parents would rather keep quiet. Directed by Joe Mantello. (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Nov. 3.)

PREVIEWS? Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg makes his playwriting debut with Asuncion. The play gets its title from the name of a Filipina woman who moves into the pad of Eisenberg’s character, Edgar, and his current roommate, Vinny (Justin Bartha). How will these two assuage their liberal guilt when cultural differences reveal some less-than-flattering character traits? (Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., btwn. Bedford & Hudson Sts., info/tickets. Officially opens Oct. 27.)

OPENING? Actress Zoe Kazan also tries her hand at playwriting with We Live Here, a dark comedy about a young woman named Dinah (Betty Gilpin) who shows up at parents' home a few days before her sister’s wedding. She brings an unexpected gift — a new boyfriend. When said boyfriend’s sordid past (and eerie connection to Dinah’s family) comes to the surface, Dinah’s mother (Oscar nominee Amy Irving) and soon-to-be-wed older sister (Jessica Collins) are none too pleased. Directed by Sam Gold (Circle Mirror Transformation, Kin). (Through Nov. 6, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., info/tickets)

Thursday, October 13

Samuel L. Jackson in The Mountaintop.

OPENING? Samuel L. Jackson plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning play, The Mountaintop, which places King at the infamous Lorraine Motel the evening after he has delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. It would also be his last night on earth. Angela Bassett plays a mysterious chambermaid who seems to have an otherworldly connection to the icon and the doom that awaits him once morning breaks. (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St. btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

PREVIEWS? Tony nominee Nina Arianda returns to Broadway and to the play that made her a star on the New York Theatre scene — David IvesVenus in Fur. Arianda plays Vanda, an actress auditioning for a play based on the classic erotic novel “Venus in Fur.” When Vanda meets the director Thomas, played by Hugh Dancy, at an after-hours audition, the old “casting couch” predicament rears its ugly head. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Nov. 8.)

Friday, October 14
WATCH? The PBS ARTS Fall Festival chronicling different arts scenes in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Chicago — kicks off on Friday featuring an array of special programming across the country. Hosts include Tony nominee Linda Ronstadt, Rainn Wilson, Andy Garcia, and Rosanne Cash introducing locally produced shows about renowned artists and musicians like Tony winner Bill T. Jones, Steve Martin, Andrea Bocelli, and Pearl Jam. PBS' multi-platform arts festival will air every Friday through Dec. 16.  (Fridays through December, info)

OPENING? David Hyde Pierce directs an all-star cast — including Tyne Daly, Richard Kline, Harriet Harris and Howard McGillin — in a new musical comedy, It Shoulda Been You, at George Street Playhouse in New Jersey. Two very different families come together to celebrate the pending nuptials of a Jewish bride and a Catholic boy. As you can probably guess, both families have their own quirks, that doesn’t necessarily mesh. (Through Nov. 6, George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, info/tickets)

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