THE WEEK AHEAD, Oct. 27-Nov. 2: The Heiress, Starring Jessica Chastain, Opens on Broadway; Superstar Screens in the U.S.

By Blake Ross
27 Oct 2012

Matthew Risch and Marla Mindelle
Matthew Risch and Marla Mindelle

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens inhabit "Washington Square" for The HeiressBrian Stokes Mitchell sings "Simply Broadway"… Detroit burns its last house down…. and Jonathan Franzen's work jumps off the page and into a theatre! November is upon us this WEEK AHEAD!

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Saturday, October 27
GO→ A campy musical comedy short called "The Devil's Bitch," about an actress who sells her soul to a sassy Devil (Matthew Risch) in order to become famous, debuts at the Friar's Club Film Festival. Marla Mindelle (most recently seen on Broadway playing Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act) co-created and stars in the film that features music by Will Van Dyke. Do yourself a favor and watch the trailer…brilliant! (3:30 PM, The Core Club, 66 E. 55th St., btwn. Park & Madison. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, October 28
LAST CHANCE→ Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, a dark comedy about a changing neighborhood and its denizens, closes Off-Broadway. The NYC premiere of the Pulitzer Prize finalist stars David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan as a suburban couple faced with a new, grimmer reality brought on by unemployment, alcoholism and shady new neighbors (Darren Pettie and Sara Sokolovic). Tony winner John Cullum serves as a reminder of the idyllic, Ozzie and Harriet-type days the neighborhood used to enjoy. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)



GO→ Candice Bergen, Chad Kimball, Alice Ripley, Tony Yazbeck, Kerry Butler, Tituss Burgess and more gather for Back to the Drawing Board. The show, organized by director David Alpert, will feature the stars singing songs from animated films. Alpert began these benefit performances as a tribute to his late sister, Gilana Shira Alpert, who passed in 2007. Proceeds benefit organizations dedicated to causes close to Gilana's heart including equality advocacy, sex education, theatre studies and Holocaust awareness. (9:30 PM, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette St., $25-$75. Info/tickets.)

Ben Forster and Mel C
photo by Tristram Kenton

Monday, October 29
EXCLUSIVE OFFER→The new musical Kinky Boots, from Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, has teamed up with Playbill to offer an exclusive pre-sale ticket offer (before tickets go on sale to the general public) for the show's Broadway debut this spring. I got to check the show out in Chicago last week, and I can attest, it is hilarious, heartfelt and filled with amazing performances from its lead players Stark Sands, Billy Porter and Annaleigh Ashford. It's a must see in my book! (info/tickets.)

GO→ The new arena-style Jesus Christ Superstar tour, currently traveling around the U.K., shares the love on this side of the pond with a filmed version playing select movie theatres. The much buzzed about tour — which cast its Jesus, Ben Forster, via the reality show "Superstar" — also stars Spice Girl Mel C. as Mary Magdalene and Tim Minchin (composer of the upcoming Matilda) as Judas. (7:30 PM local time, repeat showing Nov. 1, check for screenings in your area.)

Tuesday, October 30
GO→ Actress and sometime Broadway producer Tamara Tunie would like to remind the world that "yes, she can sing, too" in the aptly titled Yes, I Sing!, a collection of show tunes and standards under the musical direction of Mike Renzi. (Through Nov. 3, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, October 31
GO→ A true gem of Broadway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, will grace the stage at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall to debut songs off his new album "Simply Broadway." The 12-track album features Stokes' famous baritone (accompanied on piano by Tedd Firth) on songs like "It Ain't Necessarily So" from Porgy and Bess, "Soliloquy" from Carousel, "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, and, what has become a Stokes standard, "The Impossible Dream" from The Man of La Mancha. Proceeds benefit the Actors Fund, where Stokes serves as President. (7 PM, Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, Broadway at 65th St.. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, October 1 OPENING→ Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens star in the Broadway revival of The Heiress. The play borrows its story from the late 19th-century Henry James novel "Washington Square," in which a plain Jane named Catherine Sloper (Chastain) falls in love with a comely suitor (Stevens) much to the chagrin of her wealthy father (David Strathairn) who believes this new beau has less than noble motives for wanting to wed his daughter. Directed by Moisés Kaufman. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Friday, November 2
GO→ Fans of celebrated writer Jonathan Franzen ("The Corrections," "Freedom") will be happy to hear the author's autobiographical essay "House For Sale" — about the selling of his Missouri childhood home after his mother's death — now has new, theatrical life. Director Daniel Fish, whose previous work includes an adaptation of writings from Franzen's contemporary, the late David Foster Wallace, adapts Franzen's piece for the stage using five actors (Rob Campbell, Merritt Janson, Lisa Joyce, Christina Rouner and Michael Rudko). (Through Nov. 18, The Duke, 229 W. 42nd St., btwn. 6th& 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

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

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