THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 14-20: The Road to Mecca Opens on Broadway; Ricky Gervais Hosts 2012 Golden Globes

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 14-20: The Road to Mecca Opens on Broadway; Ricky Gervais Hosts 2012 Golden Globes's weekly planner reminds you that Carol Channing is "Larger-Than-Life"… Betty White celebrates her 90th birthday... Rosemary Harris travels the Road to Mecca … and Kevin Spacey is King. Broadway people are popping up all over town this WEEK AHEAD!
Gavin Creel
Gavin Creel


Saturday, January 14
GO→ The Performing Arts Project's "New York Series" of master classes offers a one-day intensive about working and performing in professional theatre, including a master class by two-time Tony nominee Gavin Creel. (10 AM-6 PM, Pearl Studios, 519 8th Ave., $275, info/tickets or call Performing Arts Project at 347-778-1012.)

Sunday, January 15
WATCH→ Sharp-tongued comedian Ricky Gervais hosts the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Some Hollywood adaptations of Broadway hits are up for the evening's big prizes, including nominations for Jodi Foster and Kate Winslet in "Carnage," Roman Polanski's adaptation of the Tony-winning play God of Carnage, and a best motion picture-drama nod for Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," based on the novel and subsequent Tony-winning play of the same name. Other Broadway-friendly people up for awards include Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Elton John and Woody Allen.
(8 PM EST/5PM PT, on NBC, info.)

Monday, January 16
WATCH→ Hugh Jackman, Carol Burnett, Morgan Freeman, Mary Tyler Moore, William Shatner and more celebrate Betty White's 90th birthday with an evening of song and laughs called "A Tribute to America's Golden Girl." Following the tribute, NBC will premiere White's newest hidden-camera show "Off Their Rockers," featuring seniors playing pranks on younger people. (8 PM EST, on NBC, info.)

Rosemary Harris and Carla Gugino
photo by Joan Marcus

Tuesday, January 17
OPENING→ Rosemary Harris, Jim Dale and Carla Gugino star in the Broadway debut of Athol Fugard's 1988 play The Road to Mecca. Harris plays an aging recluse named Miss Helen, who, since her husband's passing, has crafted and organized hundreds of sculptures, pieces of art and other odd objects, turning her home into something of a "Hoarders"-Meets-Museum experiment. Her neighbors, led by an overzealous preacher (Dale), want to evict Miss Helen, who turns to a local schoolteacher (Gugino) for help. Mecca is based on the true story of Helen Martin and "The Owl House" in Fugard's home of South Africa (the home became a national monument). (Through March 4, American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) GO→ Stephen Sondheim will return to the Public Theater's Public Forum Series to discuss his latest memoir and collected lyrics "Look, I Made a Hat." Interviewing the inimitable composer will be Tony Kushner, with the evening hosted by NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. (8 PM, NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place and Washington Square South, $35, info/tickets.)

Wednesday, January 18
GO→ Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey stars as the titular menacing king in Sam Mendes' production of Shakespeare's Richard III. This will mark the final production of the Bridge Project, a cross-continental collaboration between the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Old Vic (where Spacey is artistic director) and Mendes' production company, Neal Street. (Through March 4, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn, info/tickets.)

John Leguizamo
photo by Carol Rosegg

Thursday, January 19
GO→ Tony nominee John Leguizamo will play a Spanish-language version of his acclaimed one-man show Ghetto Klown, in anticipation of his first Colombian tour. Directed by Fisher Stevens, Klown played Broadway's Lyceum Theatre last year. The show chronicles the famous funnyman's beginnings as an actor including hilarious run-ins with Al Pacino, Patrick Swayze and Steven Seagal. (Repertorio Español, 138 E. 27th St., btwn. 3rd & Lexington, info/tickets.)

GO→ The Public Theater takes its social media outreach to the next level with the sales of specialized "Tweet Seats" that encourage live tweeting during a performance. The initiative will debut at the Thursday night performance of Gob Squad's Kitchen called So You Think You Can Tweet. Applicable to select seats only. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., info/tickets, click here to apply for "tweet seats.")

Friday, January 20
GO (Los Angeles)→ The life and career of Broadway legend Carol Channing is lovingly told by filmmaker Dori Berinstein in the new documentary "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life." Recounting moments both onstage and off with the larger-than-life Tony-winning talent is Lily Tomlin, Chita Rivera, Barbara Walters, Tommy Tune, Tyne Daly, Debbie Reynolds, Phyllis Diller, Loni Anderson, JoAnne Worley and Bruce Vilanch. The film also shows a peek into Channing's relationship with her fourth husband Harry Kullijian, who recently passed away at the age of 91. The two rekindled their school-aged romance after 50 years apart. (The L.A. opening is Jan. 20, the New York City opening is Feb. 3. Click here for screenings at a theatre near you.)

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

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