THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 12-18: Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin and Harry Connick, Jr. Return to Broadway; Indie Hit "Once" Sings

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 12-18: Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin and Harry Connick, Jr. Return to Broadway; Indie Hit "Once" Sings's weekly planner reminds you that Harry Connick, Jr. joins Hugh Jackman in an attempt to populate 44th Street with movie-star crooners… Patti and Mandy return (the truth is, they never left us)… the Gay Marriage Plays come to NYC… and Once (based on the indie film hit) takes a shot at love downtown.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr. Photo by Palma Kolansky


Saturday, November 12
PREVIEWS→ Director Michael Mayer gives a major gender reassignment (and book overhaul) to the 1960s Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. In this reincarnated version, Dr. Mark Bruckner (Harry Connick, Jr.) is the central focus. When a florist named David (David Turner) comes to Dr. Bruckner for hypnosis treatment, it is revealed that, in a past life, David was Melinda — a 1940s jazz singer — and a romance emerges. It features songs from the classic Clear Day score (and its film version), including “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here,” “Come Back To Me,” and the title tune, as well as songs borrowed from Lerner and Lane’s M-G-M film "Royal Wedding." (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets. Officially opens Dec. 11.)

PREVIEWS→ Ancient Greece gets a 21st century musical makeover courtesy of three-time Tony nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane and composer-lyricist Lewis Flinn. In their new musical, Lysistrata Jones, we find cheerleader Lyssie J (Patti Murin) spearheading a movement to withhold sex from the players of the Athens University basketball team in the hopes of ending their losing streak. Directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets. Officially opens Dec. 14.)

Sunday, November 13
OPENING→ Beth Leavel, Harriet Harris, Craig Bierko, Mark Consuelos and Richard Thomas star in Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, a mixture of shorts from such esteemed playwrights like Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright. The evening dedicates itself to shedding light on all different types of romantic relationships, with the goal of showing why marriage should be a free and equal institution. (Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane, btwn. 3rd and Bleecker Sts., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Terri White

Monday, November 14
GO→ The 8th annual Broadway Unplugged series (a concert featuring singers with no amplification) debuts with a powerful cast including: Marc Kudisch, Patrick Page, Terri White, William Michals, Kevin Earley, Tony winner Chuck Cooper, Barbara Walsh, Max von Essen, Nancy Anderson, Ron Bohmer, John Dossett, Bill Daugherty and Alexander Gemignani. (8 PM, Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., $25-$75, info/tickets.) Tuesday, November 15
PREVIEWS→ Once, the musical based on the Irish film by the same name, gets a stage treatment courtesy of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (the two musician-actors who were featured in the film). Hansard and Irglová’s Oscar-winning tune “Falling Slowly” will be featured in the new musical’s score along with new songs penned by the pair. The musical was to make its Broadway debut this season, but opted for a more intimate affair with NYTW before setting its sights on a larger commercial life. Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti play the star-crossed lovers. (Through Jan. 1, New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. 4th St., btwn. 2nd & Bowery, info/tickets.)

Wednesday, November 16
PREVIEWS→ Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin return to the Broadway stage together for the first time since their Tony-winning turn in Evita with their critically acclaimed concert (previously seen regionally). Billed as a “musical love story,” An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin features the pair performing a panoply of hits from such shows as South Pacific, Call Me Madam, Merrily We Roll Along, Follies and, of course, Evita. (Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Nov. 21.)

John Turturro
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

PREVIEWS→ John Turturro, Diane Wiest and Josh Hamilton star in the Classic Stage Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s final play, The Cherry Orchard. This production will also mark the completion of CSC’s Chekhov cycle that included productions of The Seagull (with Wiest and Alan Cumming), Uncle Vanya (with Denis O'Hare, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard) and Three Sisters (with Gyllenhaal, Sarsgaard, Hamilton and Jessica Hecht). (Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., btwn. 3rd & 4th Aves., Officially opens Dec. 4. info/tickets.)

PREVIEWS→ Academy Award winner Ethan Coen — a fan of the one-act form, as evidenced by his contribution to the evening of Broadway one-acts Relatively Speaking — debuts a new series of shorts (this time, all penned by Coen) in Happy Hour, presented by Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company. Coen’s patented style of dark humor shows in the billing: “Your life could be worse — and these three one-act comedies show you how.” Directed by Neil Pepe. (ATC, borrowing Signature Theatre Company's home at the Peter Norton Space, 552 W. 42nd St., info/tickets. Officially opens Dec. 5.)

Thursday, November 17
OPENING→ Kim Cattrall (“Sex and the City”) and Paul Gross (“Slings and Arrows”) star in Noel Coward’s classic comedy Private Lives, about a divorced couple whose love (and subsequent hatred) is rekindled after a chance meeting on a balcony in France. As it just so happens, both are on honeymoon with their new spouses. Directed by Sir Richard Eyre. (Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, November 18
PREVIEWS→ Lydia R. Diamond’s comedy Stick Fly has been getting a lot of buzz lately (enough to grab the attention of producer Alicia Keys!). Stick Fly finds the LeVay family on a summer vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. When the family’s sons come home with two very different girlfriends on their respective arms, issues of race, class and brutal honesty throw this tight-knit family for a loop. (Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets. Officially opens Dec. 8.)

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

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