THE WEEK AHEAD, Feb. 4-10: Merrily Rolls Along to NYC and Venus in Fur Returns; "Smash" Premieres on NBC

By Blake Ross
February 4, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that "Smash" brings Broadway to the tube… Venus in Fur goes commercial… there is a Merrily return to New York City… and Petula Clark plays it "uptown." Cure the winter blues with some hot new shows this WEEK AHEAD!



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Saturday, February 4
GO→ See "Downtown" star Petula Clark singing that famous 1967 pop classic, along with other standards and Broadway treasures, in Clark's new show at Feinstein's — an engagement that marks her first New York club appearance in 40 years. While Clark was on a cabaret hiatus, she spent her time in bigger venues (namely on Broadway and in the West End) in shows like Sunset Boulevard, Blood Brothers, and The Sound of Music. (Through Feb. 11, 8 & 10:30 PM, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave., at 61st St., info/tickets.)

Sunday, February 5
GO→ While we adults get ready for kickoff at Super Bowl XLVI, kids in the tri-state region gear up for this week's Super Bowl of Broadway events for the under-18 set: Kids' Night on Broadway. Kids' Night allows children ages 6 to 18 to see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. This year's ambassador for the five-day event is Broadway-baby-turned-tween-idol Nick Jonas (currently starring in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying). Jonas will be present at the Feb. 7 Kids' Night party at Madame Tussauds New York (open to all Kids' Night ticket holders). (Through Feb. 9, Click here for a list of participating shows.)

Monday, February 6
WATCH→ The drama of producing a Broadway show is at the core of NBC's newest prime time show "Smash." The series follows the making of a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe written by a Tony-nominated songwriting team (played by "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing and Broadway's Christian Borle), a no-holds-barred producer going through a nasty divorce (Oscar nominee Anjelica Huston), and a smarmy director (Jack Davenport). Two talented girls (Broadway's Megan Hilty and "American Idol" alum Katharine McPhee) are competing for the title role. (Mondays, 10 PM ET/9 C on NBC, info.)

Tuesday, February 7
GO→ Jujamcyn President Jordan Roth continues his series of "Broadway Talks" at the 92nd Street Y with Tony nominee Harry Connick, Jr. in the hot seat. Connick most recently starred in the now-closed revamped version of the Alan Jay Lerner-Burton Lane musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Roth continues this season's series with a sit-down with Nick Jonas on March 4. (8 PM, 92nd Street Y's Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington and 92nd St., tickets start at $29, info/tickets.)

REOPENING→ Venus in Fur, David Ives' sexy two-hander featuring Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy, begins its commercial life at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway after a successful run this past fall at Manhattan Theatre Club's Friedman Theatre. The play, directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie, takes the audience inside a very bizarre, after-hours audition between an offbeat actress (Arianda) and a stuffy playwright-director (Dancy). (Through June 17, Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Wednesday, February 8
OPENING→ Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), Colin Donnell (Anything Goes), Betsy Wolfe (Everyday Rapture) and Celia Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) star as the "Old Friends" at the center of the Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical Merrily We Roll Along. This Encores! concert production, directed by three-time Tony winner James Lapine, features the classic tunes "Not a Day Goes By," "Old Friends" and "Opening Doors." (For the record, the concert represents not the 1981 Broadway script and score, but the authors' revision, honed over the decade that followed.) Through Feb. 19, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Thursday, February 9
GO→ Tony nominee Stephen Kunken stars as a love-starved doctor who falls for a patient (who, in turn, falls in love with the drugs he supplies her) in the world premiere of Kate Fodor charming, quick-paced new comedy Rx. Directed by Ethan McSweeny (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man). (Through March 3, Primary Stage’s 59E59 Theatres. 59 E. 59th St., btwn. Park & Madison Aves., info/tickets.)

Friday, February 10
GO→ War Horse stars Seth Numrich and Matt Doyle take on a classic love story of another type in the new film "Private Romeo." "Romeo" is a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet with two male military cadets at its center. The script incorporates original text from Shakespeare along with YouTube videos and rock music. (Opens in NYC at Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., btwn. Broadway & 5th Ave., info.)

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

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from Merrily We Roll Along press day: