What's going on in New York City this week? The short answer is...plenty! Take a look at this week's Broadway Datebook for the hottest theatrical events, including the opening of the sexy Murder Ballad, Lea Salonga's new cabaret act and a special Dogfight performance. Look ahead!
MONDAY, MAY 20
LAURA BENANTI GETS IN A CABARET MOOD
Cheer up Go On fans! Laura Benanti isn’t going anywhere. The Tony winner is debuting her new cabaret show, In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention, at theater district nightclub 54 Below. It promises to be a night of pure Benanti—smart, sexy, funny and kooky. The show, arranged by Todd Almond, will feature original tunes, theater standards and pop songs.
ALSO: A starry cast including Rory O' Malley, B.D. Wong and Wesley Taylor join David Drake in a benefit reading of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me at John Jay College; Capathia Jenkins joins composer Frank Wildhorn for a benefit concert at Birdland; Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage Theatre hold their annual spring galas; High Fidelity in Concert rocks 54 Below; an era comes to an end as VJ John Bantay plays his final "Musical Mondays" at Splash.
TUESDAY, MAY 21
LEA SALONGA JOURNEYS TO THE CAFÉ CARLYLE
Before Tony winner Lea Salonga returns to Broadway next spring in the musical Allegiance, she’s bringing her new cabaret show, Back to Before, to the Café Carlyle. Salonga pays tribute to her favorite musical ladies, including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand. She will also revisit her life as a New Yorker in the show, directed by her BFF Victor Lirio.
ALSO: Three stage-worthy CDs celebrate their release: Tony winner Audra McDonald’s solo album Go Back Home, the original cast recording of Dogfight and the original cast recording of Giant (available for digital download).
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22
MURDER BALLAD ROCKS ON IN UNION SQUARE
Go get your murder on! Murder Ballad, the new musical starring Caissie Levy, Will Swenson, John Ellison Conlee and Rebecca Naomi Jones, opens off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre. After a selling out at MTC and receiving five Lucille Lortel noms, the steamy musical about a New Yorker pulled between her uptown present and her downtown past will rock on through the fall.
ALSO: Tony winner Frances Ruffelle warbles at 54 Below; Good Television, starring Zoe Perry, begins performances at Atlantic Stage 2.
THURSDAY, MAY 23
SPEND SOME KINDA TIME IN A DOGFIGHT
Nothing short of wonderful! Cast members from the 2012 Second Stage premiere of the acclaimed musical Dogfight, from Tony nominees Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, gather at Barnes & Noble's 86th Street location. A performance and signing will take place with cast members including the Wicked-bound twosome Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena. Hey, good-lookin’, you don’t wanna miss this.
ALSO: Dojoji: The Man Inside the Bell opens at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row; Basilica, starring Jake Cannavale, opens at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
FRIDAY, MAY 24
SANTINO FONTANA GETS JAZZED
Charlie Rosen and his Broadway Big Band are back at 54 Below in a late-night show that puts both modern and classic showtunes on display in Rosen's re-imagined arrangements. Broadway favorites including Cinderella Tony nominee Santino Fontana, Motown’s Ariana DeBose and Tony winner Jason Robert Brown will perform, backed by a full-sized jazz orchestra.
ALSO: Orphans scribe Lyle Kessler holds a reading at The Drama Book Shop.
SATURDAY, MAY 25
LAST CHANCE GET IN SOME LOVE THERAPY
We’ve all been in love, right? OK. And we’ve all needed a therapy from time to time, right? Thought so. So, head over to off-Broadway’s DR2 Theatre to make an appointment with Wendy Beckett’s Love Therapy, starring two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser. The provocative play about therapists having inappropriate physical relationships with their vulnerable patients is sure to inspire a lively conversation with your shrink!
SUNDAY, MAY 26
HOW YOU MET CRISTIN MILIOTI AT JOE’S PUB
Tony nominee and Grammy winner Cristin Milioti, who just concluded her turn as Girl in Once and was revealed as the titular mother on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is playing Joe’s Pub. The acting/singing/instrument-playing triple threat is bringing her heart, soul and musical chops to the cool cabaret hotspot. Fingers crossed that Milioti will jam out with her ukulele!
ALSO: Last chance to see Paige Davis as Roxie Hart in Chicago, Tina Packer’s Women of Will at The Gym at Judson and Different Animals at the Cherry Lane Theatre.