THE WEEK AHEAD, Jan. 4-10: Broadway Shows Close and Under the Radar Festival Begins

By Blake Ross
January 4, 2014

Playbill.com's weekly planner reminds you that Broadway takes last looks at Spidey, Billy, Annie and 007... Laura Benanti seeks warmer weather... the Public looks Under the Radar for new talent... and Phylicia Rashad pays homage to a Wilson great. The holidays are over, and you are in need of some cheer in your WEEK AHEAD! Get on these To Dos, and you'll make it through the winter blues!



Saturday, January 4
LAST CHANCE→ Broadway's most expensive (and 16th highest-grossing) musical of all time, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark plays its last performance on Broadway. The Bono and The Edge-scored Marvel musical was wracked with drama onstage and off — including cast member injuries; the very public ousting of its first director, Julie Taymor; lawsuits; irritated critics; and stopped performances. Despite the tabloid clamor, the $75-million show raked in over $200 million at the box office with an attendance of close to two million theatregoers. The franchise plans to swing into Vegas next. (Foxwoods Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St., btwn. 7th & 8th Aves. Info/tickets.)

Sunday, January 5
LAST CHANCE→ Billy Crystal ends the reboot of his one-man show 700 Sundays. The Tony-winning production, which had its first blockbuster run on Broadway in 2004, recounts Crystal's humble and loving childhood in Long Island, NY. The Jan. 3-4 performances will be taped for an HBO special to air later in the year. (Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ One of fall's hottest tickets, Mike Nichols' starry revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, ends its limited run. Daniel Craig and real-life wife, Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, play a feuding couple whose marriage is in deep trouble thanks to a philandering friend, played by Rafe Spall. (Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves. Info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ The most recent revival of the beloved family classic Annie spends its last night on Broadway, playing its final two performances at 1 PM and 6:30 PM. The James Lapine-helmed revival currently stars Ron Raines as Daddy Warbucks, Taylor Richardson as Annie and Faith Prince as Miss Hannigan. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway, at W. 47th St. Info/tickets.)

LAST CHANCE→ It's the last "first date" for Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez in the new musical comedy First Date. Levi and Rodriguez play a pair set up on an epic blind date complete with imagined run-ins with exes, disapproving family members and meddlesome friends. (Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Aves., Click here for Playbill Club discount tickets.)

Monday, January 6
GO→ Test your Broadway trivia chops at Broadway Trivia Night at 54 Below. The event is hosted by the venue's director of programming Jennifer Tepper, who offers this trial balloon: "Which now-famous director once took a swig of Liza Minnelli's drink as a kid?" (Hint: Think Spring Awakening.) (9:30 PM, 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave. No cover with $20 minimum. Info/tickets.)

Tuesday, January 7
OPENING→ Three-time Tony winner Frank Langella stars in the American premiere of the Chichester Festival Theatre production of King Lear at BAM, directed by BAFTA-nominated young gun Angus Jackson. (BAM Harvey Theatre, 651 Fulton St. Info/tickets.)

Wednesday, January 8
GO→ The 10th edition of the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival comes to New York featuring exciting new voices in theatre from around the world. The 12-day intensive includes pieces from "Daily Show" contributor John Hodgman, experimental theatre collective 600 HIGHWAYMEN, renowned poet and monologist Edgar Oliver and Argentine director/performer/writer Lola Arias. (Through Jan. 19, various venues. Info/schedule/tickets.)

Thursday, January 9
GO (LA)→ The talents of Laura Benanti come to the West Coast in her solo concert debut in the City of Angeles. This Tony-winning star of Gypsy (and of Playbill.com's "Life with Laura") presents In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention, a delicious mix of songs old and new from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Johnny Mercer, David Yazbek and Jerome Kern. (8:30 PM, Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA. Info/tickets.) 

Friday, January 10
PREVIEWS (NJ)→ Portia, Taylor Dior, Jared McNeill and Esau Pritchett star in August Wilson's Fences. Tony winner Phylicia Rashad (who earned a Tony nod in 2004 for her performance in Wilson's Gem of the Ocean) is at the helm. Officially opens Jan. 17. (McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Info/tickets.)

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