THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 15-21: The Anarchist and Giant Close; A Cat Walks Onto Broadway

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Dec. 15-21: The Anarchist and Giant Close; A Cat Walks Onto Broadway's weekly planner reminds you that Scarlett Johansson is Broadway's newest Maggie the Cat… we celebrate the holidays with the president, Diana Ross and Megan Hilty… Giant rides off into the sunset… and Patti LuPone spends her last night in prison! Get some respite from all the holiday glitz with these WEEK AHEAD happenings!
Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone Photo by Joan Marcus


Saturday, December 15
OPENING (KIDS)→ Tituss Burgess and Farah Alvin star in a new musical inspired by the Kenneth Grahame fable A Wind in the Willows Christmas. The children's show, featuring music by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger, concerns the adventures of four-legged friends Mole, Water Rat, Dr. Badger and Mr. Toad. (Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, NJ. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, December 16
LAST CHANCE→ David Mamet's short-lived two-hander The Anarchist, starring Patti LuPone and Debra Winger, closes on Broadway. In the dark comedy, also directed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, LuPone plays a longtime inmate pleading for release from Winger. (Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson's sprawling new musical Giant — based on the Edna Ferber novel that was later made into a film starring Liz Taylor, James Dean and Rock Hudson — ends its limited run at the Public Theater. Kate Baldwin and Brian d'Arcy James star as a beautiful Northern bookworm who falls for a rich Texas cattleman, respectively. The musical spans their love affair through decades as the landscape of the Lone Star state changes from cattle ranges to oil fields. Michael Greif directs. (The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Ave. Info/tickets.)

Monday, December 17
GO→ Some New York performers are giving their time and talents to benefit North Carolina's Flat Rock Playhouse. Richard Kind will host, with performances from Seth Rudetsky, Lauren Kennedy, Leslie Odom, Jr. and Ben Hope. (7 PM, Times Square Arts Center, 669 8th Ave, $25-$40. Call (866) 732-8008 for tickets.) GO→ One of the most intimate holiday-themed concerts in New York this season will take place beyond the stage door of the Foxwoods Theatre, where a rehearsal room will be transformed for Backstage for Christmas: A Holiday Cabaret, featuring respected Broadway music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell (The Addams Family, Company, Pump Boys and Dinettes) and a clutch of her theatrical pals, including Andrew Lippa, Tom Kitt, Julia Murney, Ali Stroker, Derek Klena, Tituss Burgess, Lindsay Mendez and more. Expect a casual, roaming cocktail-party-style atmosphere, with a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit ASTEP/Artists Striving to End Poverty. (6:30 PM, Stage Door of Foxwoods Theatre, 214 W. 43rd Street. Info/tickets.)

Scarlett Johansson
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tuesday, December 18
PREVIEWS→ Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker star in Broadway's latest revival of Tennessee Williams' classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Those surrounding the tumultuous Maggie and Brick — all of them dripping with greed and spinning lies to themselves and others — are Debra Monk, Ciaran Hinds, Emily Bergl and Michael Park. Rob Ashford directs. Officially opens Jan. 17, 2013. (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St. Info/tickets.)

OPENING→ Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan opens at Playwrights Horizons. The world premiere of this anticipated new play by the author of 4000 Miles tells the story of a young Brooklyn journalist (Jeremy Strong) who learns a little too much about his own past than he'd care to. Carolyn Cantor directs. (Through Jan. 6, 2013. Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, December 19
GO→ Tony nominee Kenny Mellman (of Kiki & Herb fame) joins friends Bridget Everett and Neal Medlyn for Our Hit Parade, a musical comedy sketch show reminiscent of the sketch shows of the '30s, '40s and '50s. This modern version will take on a panoply of new pop standards from Taylor Swift to Chris Brown to Beyoncé. (Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, December 20
GO→ Café Carlyle mainstay Steve Tyrell returns to the famous Madison Avenue haunt for a holiday show. The crooner who famously resurrected the old classic "The Way You Look Tonight" in the remake of the film "Father of the Bride" takes on the golden age of swing with songs made famous by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. (Through Dec. 31. Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave. Info/tickets.)

Friday, December 21
WATCH→ Conan O'Brien will host the annual "Christmas in Washington" concert with performances from Diana Ross, Megan Hilty, Demi Lovato, Chris Mann ("The Voice") and "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery. The televised concert, regularly attended by the President and First Lady, benefits the Children's National Medical Center. (8 PM, ET, on TNT. Info.)

Blake Ross is the editor of Playbill magazine. Follow her on Twitter @PlaybillBlake.

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