THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 10-16: Opening Night Comes for Drood, Scandalous, The Performers, Giant and Golden Child

By Blake Ross
November 10, 2012

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Drood's Mystery continues at Studio 54… Cheyenne Jackson is "Mandrew" and Henry Winkler is "Mr. Wood" (immature giggles)… Aimee Semple's Scandalous sermon opens on Broadway… and Patti LuPone returns to Mamet (and brings Debra Winger along for the ride). Welcome to your first WEEK AHEAD free of political commercials!



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Saturday, November 10
LAST CHANCE→ Seth Rudetsky introduced me to this amazing group, Well Strung, in his latest episode of Playbill Video's "Obsessed!" series. Since then, I've also become obsessed with them — mostly with their tiny tees and their enormous talent! Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin and Trevor Wadleigh comprise the all-male string quartet that takes on everything from Mozart to Lady Gaga to Vivaldi and Pink. Check out their latest and final show in NYC — although something tells me this isn't the last we'll be seeing from this talented (and yes!) supremely good-looking group of musicians. (Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater, 10 W. 64th St., btwn. Central Park West and Columbus Ave., $30. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, November 11
PREVIEWS→ The voice behind "Son of a Preacher Man," "The Look of Love" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," Dusty Springfield, is the subject of the new biomusical Forever Dusty. Co-creator Kirsten Holly Smith will star as the late pop singer who pioneered a new brand of soulful pop in the 1960s. Expect Springfield's greatest hits along with tunes from Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Officially opens Nov. 18. (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, November 12
OPENING→ Activist and playwright Eve Ensler debuts Emotional Creature in New York. The show, based on Ensler's book of the same name, explores the myriad of growing pains girls face in different regions of the world. (Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Tuesday, November 13
OPENING→ The king of the whodunit musical, Rupert Holmes (Curtains, Accomplice, Solitary Confinement) returns to his first, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, thanks to a Broadway revival from Roundabout Theatre Company. Stephanie J. Block plays the mystery "man" in question. Andy Karl, Jessie Mueller, Jim Norton, Gregg Edelman, Will Chase, Betsy Wolfe and Chita Rivera are all suspects in Drood's disappearance. The twist is, every night, a different person is found guilty — with the jury being the audience. Based on Charles Dickens' final, unfinished novel. (Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Patti LuPone
photo by Ethan Hill

PREVIEWS→ The same season that brings us a revival of David Mamet's testosterone-driven Glengarry Glen Ross also brings us a rare Mamet play featuring all females (I believe Boston Marriage is the only other one). In The Anarchist, Patti LuPone plays a white-collar criminal in prison and at odds with the warden, played by Debra Winger. Mamet directs. Officially opens Dec. 2. (Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount previews tickets.)

OPENING→ Chinglish's breakout star Jennifer Lim stars in the revival of another Tony-nominated David Henry Hwang play, Golden Child. Another former Hwang cohort, Julyana Soelistyo, returns to the play that earned her a Tony nod in 1998. The play centers on the "golden child" of a polygamous Chinese man, and his family's struggle during changing social times. Chinglish director Leigh Silverman is at the helm. (Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th & 10th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, November 14
OPENING→ Henry Winkler, Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor play adult performers (yes that kind of performer!) in the David West Read comedy, The Performers. Daniel Breaker and Alicia Silverstone play a young, apple-cheeked couple that goes to Las Vegas on the eve of the Adult Film Awards. As you can imagine, they end up having a sexy time. Oh, and Cheyenne's character's name is Mandrew…MANDREW! Two, er, thumbs up! (Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, November 15
OPENING→ The life of evangelical preacher Aimee Semple McPherson gets the musical treatment thanks to TV host Kathie Lee Gifford (who moonlights as lyricist-bookwriter here) and composers David Friedman and David Pomeranz. The enigmatic preacher was popular in the 1920s and 30s and was well known for her spectacle-driven sermons. Her private life was marred with rumors, marital breakups, substance abuse and a fake kidnapping. (Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

OPENING→ Giant, Michael John LaChiusa's musical take on the Edna Ferber novel, opens at the Public Theater. The sprawling story about the development of the Lone Star State stars Kate Baldwin, Brian d'Arcy James and P.J. Griffith in a sort-of love triangle between a socialite, a rich cattleman and a ranch-hand-turned-oil-tycoon. Michael Greif directs the Off-Broadway musical that, aptly, employs a giant-sized (for Off-Broadway) 22-member cast and a 17-piece orchestra. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Info/tickets.)

Friday, November 16
GO→ The epic story of Abe Lincoln's fight to abolish slavery at the end of the American Civil War takes center stage in the new film "Lincoln," getting its wide release today. Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay for the Steven Spielberg flick starring Daniel Day Lewis as our 16th President and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Other stage stars that pop up in the film include David Strathairn, James Spader, Tony winner Hal Holbrook and Lee Pace. (Info.)

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

Watch highlights from Drood: