THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 7-13: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Opens; Closing Night Comes for Lysistrata and Billy

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 7-13: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Opens; Closing Night Comes for Lysistrata and Billy's weekly planner reminds you that Audra McDonald returns to Broadway… Lin-Manuel Miranda celebrates Alexander Hamilton's 255th birthday… Lysistrata Jones plays its final game… and Broadway says, "Bye Bye, Billy."
Howard McGillin
Howard McGillin Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Saturday, January 7
GO→ A new season of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series kicks off with Makin' Whoopee: Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn and the Jazz Age. Singing the jazz classics from the Donaldson and Kahn songbook (including "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Makin' Whoopee") will be Laura Osnes, Christine Andreas, Jason Graae and Howard McGillin. Robert Kimball hosts with special guest CBS Sunday Morning's Charles Osgood. (Through Jan. 8, 92 Street Y, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, January 8
LAST CHANCE→ Tony nominee Thomas Sadoski will play his last performance as Trip Wyeth in Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed production of Other Desert Cities. Sadoski is leaving the show to take part in a new Aaron Sorkin series for HBO. Joining the Wyeth clan (made up of Rachel Griffiths, Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Judith Light) is Justin Kirk ("Weeds," Love! Valour! Compassion!), beginning Jan. 10. (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ After 1,304 performances and three years on Broadway, the Tony Award-winning musical Billy Elliot will dance its last dance in New York. Billy became an unlikely Broadway success story, taking home ten Tony Awards, thanks to the music of Elton John and the talent of the many kids who have hoofed it onstage at the Imperial Theatre. The show continues to play its original home in the West End and tour throughout the U.S. (Imperial Theatre, 249 W 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Patti Murin in Lysistrata Jones.
photo by Joan Marcus

LAST CHANCE→ It's game over for the pop musical comedy Lysistrata Jones, Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn's modern-day take on Aristophanes' ancient play set in the world of college basketball. Spunky, big-voiced newcomer Patti Murin leads the cast as the title character who talks the Athens University cheerleading squad into a sex strike. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) Monday, January 9
GO→ Tony winners Richard Easton and Jennifer Ehle join Victor Garber, Mamie Gummer, Benjamin Walker, Patrick Page, and Paxton Whitehead in a reading of Tom Stoppard's new adaptation of Pirandello's Henry IV. The reading, directed by Tony winner Jack O'Brien, is part of the Red Bull Theater's ongoing Revelation Readings series of rare classics and new plays. (7:30 PM, Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Tickets currently available on a cancellation or standby basis only, click here for ticket info or, for standby tickets, visit the box office one hour prior to curtain.)

Tuesday, January 10
GO→ Tony winner Paulo Szot returns to the elegant Café Carlyle for another solo engagement. The winter season at the Carlyle rolls out with shows from two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Bettye LaVette, and the continuation of Woody Allen's standing Monday night gig playing the clarinet alongside the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. (Szot sings through Jan. 28, Café Carlyle, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave. Info/tickets.)

Lin-Manuel Miranda
photo by Corey Hayes

Wednesday, January 11
GO→ Tony-winning composer and original star of In The Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda debuts his newest work, The Hamilton Mixtape, a collection of hip-hop songs based on the life and legendary death of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda first debuted a song from the Hamilton concept album in 2009 for President Obama at the White House. Miranda's former In the Heights co-star Karen Olivo and Gavin Creel will join him for the show. The performance will kick off Lincoln Center's month-long American Songbook Series that also includes performances by LaChanze, Laura Benanti and Elaine Paige, among others. (8:30 PM, Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St. Info/tickets.)

GO (Atlanta) → Jasmine Guy, Keith Randolph Smith, Crystal Fox and Geoffrey Darnell Williams play the two couples that go to war after a playground fight between their two kids in an all-African-American production of Yasmina Reza's Tony-winning comedy God of Carnage. (Through Jan. 29, Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, January 12
OPENING→ The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, a musical theatre-friendly remake of the classic George and Ira Gershwin-DuBose Heyward folk opera, stars Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier. This fresh vision for Catfish Row comes to Broadway courtesy of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, composer Diedre Murray and director Diane Paulus. All said, the famous songs at the heart of this classic, including "My Man's Gone Now," "Summertime," "I Got Plenty o' Nothin'," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "I Loves You, Porgy," remain and are beautifully sung by this talented cast. (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

OPENING→ Anthony Rapp, Dee Roscioli and James Kautz star in the American premiere of Gary Duggan's Dedalus Lounge. The story follows three very different friends as they spend a "jet black Christmas" at a famous Dublin bar. (Through Jan. 30, Interart Theatre Annex, 500 W. 52nd St., btwn. 10th & 11th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Friday, January 13
PREVIEWS→ Director Sam Gold is at the helm of the new Off-Broadway revival of the 1957 Tony Award-nominated John Osborne play, Look Back in Anger. Adam Driver, Sarah Goldberg, Matthew Rhys and Charlotte Parry play the two couples at the center of the shocking drama. (Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Officially opens Feb. 2. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

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

Watch Paulus' "Director's Cut" with Porgy and Bess leading lady McDonald:

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