The WEEK AHEAD: Sept. 25-Oct. 1

Inside Track   The WEEK AHEAD: Sept. 25-Oct. 1
The Broadway fall season gets off to a running (and flying) start with two new openings this WEEK AHEAD.

NYMF ushers in new tunes and talent… An Encounter of the aerobatic kind… Lee Hall leads us back to the mine…and Broadway for sale at the BC/EFA Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction.

High flying adored, indeed...

Saturday, September 25
GO (FREE)?The Nederlander, August Wilson and Winter Garden Theatres will host free open house tours allowing audiences to explore the inner-workings of these historical houses. (10 AM- 12 NOON, Nederlander 208 W. 41st St., August Wilson 245 W. 52nd St., and Winter Garden 1634 Broadway, info)

Sunday, September 26
GO? The 24th Annual Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market and Grand Auction will invade Shubert Alley once again offering all kinds of goodies for theatre lovers. Dozens of tables at the market will display such wares as costume pieces, original scripts, show posters, vintage Playbills and rare photos. Expect lots of star-manned tables as well! Splashy auction items include walk-on roles in Broadway shows, opening night tickets, backstage visits with Broadway’s biggest stars and handwritten lyrics from the likes of Stephen Sondheim. (10 AM-7 PM, Shubert Alley and W. 44th St., info)

Monday, September 27
NYMF - New York Music Theatre FestivalGO? The New York Musical Theatre Festival, which runs from Sept. 27-Oct. 17, has in its few short years become one of the major festivals for new musical theatre talent. Among NYMF alumni are Next to Normal, Yank! and [title of show]. 2010 highlights include Anthony Rapp’s Without You based on the loss of two important figures in Rapp’s life — Rent’s Jonathan Larson and Rapp's mother; Tony nominee Brenda Braxton in Trav’lin’, a musical set in 1930s Harlem; the rags-to-riches tale Shine; and Things As They Are featuring Drama Desk Award nominee Garrett Long as the famous Depression-era photojournalist Dorothea Lange. NYMF’s honorary chairman, director Baz Luhrmann, will host a master class on musical theatre and film. (Visit for a full list of performances and special events)

GO? The Drama League hosts “Artist Forum: Looking Ahead” a confab about the new theatre season featuring Tony nominee Charles Busch, Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire, the Public Theater’s Maria Goyanes, and Directors Project alum Mark Brokaw. (6 PM, York Theatre @ St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th St., $25, call 212.244.9494 ext. 26 for tickets or click here)

Tuesday, September 28
Hannah Yelland and Tristan SturrockOPENING? The Kneehigh Theatre Company’s exciting new production, Brief Encounter, dazzled New York audiences last year during a sold-out run at Brooklyn's St. Ann’s Warehouse. It now makes the jump to Broadway courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre Company. Brief Encounter, a re-imagining of the 1940s film of the same name, takes Noël Coward’s story of a clandestine love affair and spins it into a multi-media, aerobatic, dimension-jumping spectacle. (Studio 54 Theatre, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Wednesday, September 29
Bubbles, Dorsel and TankGO (KIDS)? John Tartaglia (Avenue Q’s original puppet master) brings a more family-friendly puppet to the stage with ImaginOcean. The show has now partnered with StudentsLive, a theatre education company, for a special kids’ workshop entitled “Imagine That” which not only entertains kids with a great show, but also teaches them about protecting sea creatures and ocean life. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th and 9th Aves., $50 includes workshop and access to the 11 AM performance, info/tickets)

Thursday, September 30
Oliver Kilbourn's "My Life as a Pitman," one of the real Pitmen paintings.OPENING? Tony Award winner Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) brings audiences back to the mine with The Pitmen Painters. Based on a true story, the play explores the lives of a group of miners in northern England in the 1930s that become nationally recognized artists. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway and 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

Friday, October 1
The cast of Freckleface StrawberryGO (KIDS)? Freckleface Strawberry celebrates its official opening with a performance to benefit the Save The Children Organization. The play, based on a series of childrens' books by writer-actress Julianne Moore, centers on a seven-year-old girl named Strawberry who is being teased by her schoolmates for having red hair and freckles. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 8th and 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets)

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