THE WEEK AHEAD Aug. 16-22: Cate Blanchett Is At Your Service and Andrew Rannells Rocks as Hedwig | Playbill

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Inside Track THE WEEK AHEAD Aug. 16-22: Cate Blanchett Is At Your Service and Andrew Rannells Rocks as Hedwig's weekly planner reminds you to hear John Lithgow's last howl… see Cate Blanchett's housekeeping skills… enter the ring with Rocky… and sleep under the stars with the stars for a great cause!
Andy Karl
Andy Karl Photo by Matthew Murphy

Summer's lease hath all too short a date this WEEK AHEAD. Live it up while you can!

Saturday, August 16
LAST CHANCE→ Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert star as two diabolical housekeepers on a mission to kill their spoiled employer (Elizabeth Debicki) in the Sydney Theatre Company's adaptation of Jean Genet's The Maids, currently playing stateside as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Click here to read Playbill's interview with Blanchett about the show based on the notorious story of real-life murderesses, the Papin sisters. (New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ Also direct from Australia comes Atomic, a new musical about the Manhattan Project, the secret World War II government program that created the first atomic bomb, and Leó Szilárd, the Hungarian physicist tasked with creating the bomb while battling his moral conscience (and his concerned wife). (The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th and 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

Sunday, August 17
LAST CHANCE→ The Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical, Rocky, based on Sylvester Stallone's classic tale of a small-time boxer in Philadelphia who gets the chance to contend for the heavyweight championship of the world, fights its last fight on Broadway. The tech-savvy musical features direction by Broadway wiz kid Alex Timbers and a tour de force performance by a Tony-nominated Andy Karl in the title role. (Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway, btwn. 50th & 51st Sts. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

LAST CHANCE (FREE)→ Tony winner John Lithgow makes a stunning appearance as the mad king in William Shakespeare's royal-family tragedy, King Lear. Shakespeare in the Park master Daniel Sullivan directs the classic about the aging monarch and the chaos, treachery and madness that ends his reign. Oscar nominee Annette Bening, Tony nominee Jessica Hecht and Jessica Collins play the three Lear daughters vying for rule of the once great king's land. (8 PM, Delacorte Theatre, Central Park, enter at 81st St. & Central Park West or 79th St. and 5th Ave. Info/tickets.)  DONATE→ Audra McDonald, David Henry Hwang, Susan Blackwell, Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Denis O'Hare and many others sleep on the streets for Covenant House's second annual "Sleep Out: Broadway Edition." The fundraising event finds members of the Broadway community sleeping on the streets of New York City in an effort to raise awareness for homeless youth. I'll be there, sleeping bag in hand, ready to support a great group of kids! (Click here to support the Sleep Out.) 

Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin
photo by Michael Brosilow
Monday, August 18
PREVIEWS→ Kenneth Lonergan's long-in-coming Main Stem bow, the Broadway debut of his acclaimed coming-of-age story This is Our Youth, hits the boards. Set in New York in 1982, This Is Our Youth follows 48 hours in the lives of three very lost young souls: Warren (Michael Cera), Dennis (Kieran Culkin) and Jessica (newcomer Tavi Gevinson). (Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

Tuesday, August 19
GO (FREE)→ John Lithgow makes another appearance this WEEK AHEAD alongside Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and filmmaker Ira Sachs to chat about their new film, "Love Is Strange," as part of The Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Free Talks" film series. The movie, about a longtime gay couple (Lithgow and Tony winner Alfred Molina) who finally get the chance to find out the pitfalls of marriage, opens theatrically Aug. 22. (7 PM, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 W. 65th St., btwn. Columbus & Amsterdam Aves. Info.) 

Wednesday, August 20
CASTING→ Tony-nominated The Book of Mormon star Andrew Rannells takes over as the queen of the strange rock 'n' rollers as the title character in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Rannells follows in the heels of newly minted Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris, who departs the Tony-winning revival Aug. 17. Read Playbill’s interview with Rannells about taking on the iconic role here. (Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 6th Ave. Info/tickets.) 

Thursday, August 21
GO (FREE)→ Alfred Hitchock's thriller masterpiece "The Birds," starring Tippi Hedren in the iconic role of a woman inexplicably under attack by the foul fowl of the title, is screened outdoors. Presented by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy as part of their 15th annual summer movies series. (Harbor View Lawn of Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Info.) 

Friday, August 22
PREVIEWS→ Robert O'Hara, Obie Award-winning scribe of the groundbreaking gay play Insurrection: Holding History, is back exploring growing up gay and black in America in a new comedy, Bootycandy. Officially opens Sept. 10. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

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