THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 5-11: Opening Night Comes for Venus, Lear, Godspell and Blue Flower

Inside Track   THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 5-11: Opening Night Comes for Venus, Lear, Godspell and Blue Flower's weekly planner reminds you that Sutton steps aside for Stephanie, Kim Cattrall stars in the sexually charged comedy of Coward, Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy get kinky and War Horse honors our troops on Veterans Day. Plus more!
Hugh Dancy and Nina Arianda
Hugh Dancy and Nina Arianda Photo by Jason Bell


Saturday, November 5
CAST→ Stephanie J. Block has big tap shoes to fill when she steps in for Tony winner Sutton Foster in the Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes. While on hiatus, Foster will film a TV pilot. Block will play Reno Sweeney through Nov. 22. (Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

CASTING→ He's baaaack! "Saved By the Bell" star Dustin "Screech" Diamond returns to the jukebox musical/dance party The Awesome 80s Prom. Children of the '90s rejoice! (Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., btwn. 3rd & 4th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discounts.)

Sunday, November 6
PREVIEWS→ "Sex and the City" star Kim Cattrall keeps the sex but trades cities in the Broadway revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives. Cattrall plays Amanda, a divorcee who goes to the south of France with her new husband on honeymoon. The couple sharing the adjoining balcony with the newlyweds is none other than Amanda's ex Elyot (Paul Gross) and his blushing new bride. (Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount preview tickets. Officially opens Nov. 17.)

GO (FREE, Massachusetts)→ Rutina Wesley ("True Blood," The Submission) will star in a free reading of Sam Shepard's Fool for Love, which follows a couple forced to face some serious issues while staying in a seedy motel in the middle of the desert. (7 PM, The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, Click here to reserve tickets) LAST CHANCE→ Actress Zoe Kazan tries her hand at playwriting with We Live Here, the story of a family reunited over what is supposed to be a happy occasion: the wedding of the eldest daughter. When the youngest daughter returns home with her secret boyfriend, his presence brings up some long-held bad memories for the entire family. Starring Amy Irving as the mother trying desperately to keep her family together amid the chaos. (Stage I at New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves, Click here for Playbill club discount tickets.)

Monday, November 7
OPENING→ The Broadway revival of Godspell, Stephen Schwartz's rock musical based on the gospel according to St. Matthew, officially opens on Broadway with Hunter Parrish ("Weeds," Spring Awakening) as Jesus. Featuring classic Schwartz tunes including "Day by Day," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "Prepare Ye (The Way Of the Lord)" and "By My Side." (Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway at 50th St., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

WATCH→ The hit TV quiz show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" celebrates Broadway with a week's worth of programming. The week kicks off with cast members from Broadway's Mary Poppins as contestants. Their winnings will be donated to The Actors Fund. Other contestants on during the "Millionaire" Broadway Week will compete for cash prizes (and theatre tickets!) as they answer Broadway-related trivia questions. (Through Nov. 11, Click here for local listings)

Tuesday, November 8
OPENING→ Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy star in David Ives' Venus in Fur, a kinky two-hander pitting an aspiring actress (Arianda) against a demanding playwright/director (Dancy). Arianda made a name for herself on the New York theatre scene starring in the show's Off-Broadway premiere in 2010 and later went on to earn a Tony nod for her portrayal of gangster's moll Billie Dawn in the revival of Born Yesterday. Directed by Walter Bobbie. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

OPENING→ Academy Award nominee Sam Waterston stars as the titular monarch of Shakespeare's King Lear. Also starring Tony winner Bill Irwin (as the Fool), Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara (as Regan), Tony nominee Enid Graham (as Goneril), Kristen Connolly (as Cordelia), Tony winner Frank Wood (as Cornwall) and Michael McKean (as Gloucester). (Through Nov. 20, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., info/tickets.)

Wednesday, November 9
OPENING→ The Blue Flower — a new multi-media, multi-genre musical — blooms Off-Broadway. Husband-and-wife team Jim and Ruth Bauer use practically every medium imaginable — text, film, projections, collage, performance and music — to tell a story of artists and scientists in the early 20th century. The score uses the cabaret style of Weimar Germany combined with some country-western twang. Starring Sebastian Arcelus and Marc Kudisch. (Second Stage Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, November 10
GO→ Cabaret legend Marilyn Maye celebrates the music of Jerry Herman (in honor of the composer's 80th birthday, over the summer) with fresh act The Best of Times is Now! Maye takes on tunes from Hello, Dolly!; Mame, La Cage aux Folles, Mack and Mabel and Herman's first musical for Broadway Milk and Honey. (Through Nov. 12, Feinstein's at the Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave at 61st St., info/tickets.)

Friday, November 11
WATCH→ A new documentary called "Bill T. Jones: A Good Man" follows the Tony-winning director/choreographer as he creates his celebrated dance piece Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray, based on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The documentary is part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. (9 PM on PBS, info/local listings.)

GO→ Proceeds from the Nov. 11 Veterans Day performance of the Tony-winning play War Horse will be donated to the USO. The money will go to some 3,000 troops and their families of the New York National Guard stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St., btwn. Broadway and Amsterdam, info/tickets.)

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

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