THE WEEK AHEAD, Nov. 9-15: Mark Rylance Does Double Duty, 700 Sundays Returns to Broadway and Little Miss Sunshine Opens at Second Stage

By Blake Ross
November 9, 2013

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Mark Rylance is a pretty lady and a pretty mean king... Pete Townshend gets a toast from Tony winners... Little Miss Sunshine brings some golden rays to the stage... and A Christmas Story gets a jump on the holidays! Get a move on these November WEEK AHEAD happenings… stat!

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Saturday, November 9
GO (CA)→ Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's prolific The Exonerated, based on the true stories of death row inmates who were later absolved of their crimes, gets another all-star reading. This time, it's Helen Hunt, Beau Bridges, William H. Macy and Wendie Malick's turn to play the six people who were jailed for years for crimes they didn't commit. Proceeds benefit the Theatricum Botanicum theatre in Topanga, CA. (6 PM, Mountain Mermaid near the Theatricum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA. Tickets start at $200. Info/tickets.) 

Sunday, November 10
OPENING→ One of today's finest and most eccentric of stage creatures is British actor Mark Rylance — and it's Broadway's pleasure to have this two-time Tony winner on our boards even once. But this season, we get a double dose of him, as he takes on the roles of Olivia and Richard in Twelfth Night and Richard III, respectively. These two all-male Shakespeare's Globe productions also feature the esteemed actor-author Stephen Fry, Samuel Barnett and Paul Chahidi. This is a must see in my book! (Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.) 

Monday, November 11
GO→ Norm Lewis, Alice Ripley, Constantine Maroulis, Eden Espinosa, The Monkees' Micky Dolenz, Michael Cerveris and more honor Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff for Rockers on Broadway 20. The evening will benefit a number of charities, among them Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Broadway Dreams Foundation. (7:30 PM, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., btwn. Thompson and Sullivan Sts. Info/tickets.) 

Tuesday, November 12
GO→ One of the best Christmas stage musicals to come around in a long time, A Christmas Story, The Musical (based on Jean Shepherd's cult-classic film), spreads the holiday cheer once again in 2013. The Tony-nominated musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul follows a precocious boy named Ralphie on a quest to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. The show kicks off in Connecticut and stops in Boston before settling at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in December. (Through Nov. 17, William H. Mortensen Hall, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT. Info/tickets.) 

Wednesday , November 13
OPENING→ Billy Crystal brings his Tony-winning 700 Sundays back to Broadway. The one-man show that broke records when it first debuted on the Great White Way in 2004 recounts the number of Sundays Crystal spent with his father before he passed away. (Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. Info/tickets.) 

GO→ Bernadette Peters, Norm Lewis and Jeremy Jordan perform the sweet sounds of Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis in a new collaboration with John Doyle called A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair. This collaboration between Encores! and Jazz at Lincoln Center features some two dozen Sondheim songs re-imagined with Marsalis' flair. (Through Nov. 17, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves. Tickets start at $30. Info/tickets.) 

LAST CHANCE→ The pop-opera group Il Divo's concert at Broadway's Marquis Theatre, Il Divo: A Musical Affair, ends its limited engagement. Tony winner Heather Headley joins the quartet for songs from Phantom, Carousel, West Side Story and more! (Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway, btwn. 45th & 46th Sts. Info/tickets.)

Thursday, November 14
OPENING→ William Finn and James Lapine's musical take on the indie flick "Little Miss Sunshine" officially opens at Off-Broadway's Second Stage. Stephanie J. Block, Will Swenson, Rory O'Malley and newcomer Hannah Rose Nordberg star in the quirky story of an outcast who dreams of winning a beauty pageant. (Second Stage Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St. btwn. 8th & 9th Aves. Info/tickets.) 

Friday, November 15
PREVIEWS→ Amanda Quaid, John Ellison Conlee and David Costabile star in the Leigh Silverman-helmed The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence. Madeleine George's time-jumping Sherlock Holmes riff makes its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons. Officially opens Dec. 9. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., btwn. 9th and 10th 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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Stephanie J. Block, Rory O'Malley, Hannah Rose Nordberg, David Rasche and Will Swenson
Photo by Joan Marcus