It's November, which means we'll be celebrating six opening nights of eight hot Broadway shows before Thanksgiving. Whew! Let's get straight to this week's list of new shows, don't-miss concerts, plus benefits, stage-worthy TV episodes and even three book releases! Savor all there is to see and do in this week's Datebook.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4
A POLITICAL SCANDAL TAKES CENTER STAGE
These days, it takes a lot to get people riled up over a politician’s peccadillos, but if anybody can make a Good Wife-style scandal fresh, it’s Bruce Norris. In Domesticated, which opens at Lincoln Center Theater, the Clybourne Park author dissects the marriage of a sharp-edged political couple played by Jeff Goldblum and Laurie Metcalf. Expect fireworks!
ALSO: Hilarious parody musical Disaster! opens at St. Luke’s Theatre; Sir Ian McKellen hosts Only Make Believe’s Gala at the Jacobs Theatre; Nathan Lane previews new plays for Naked Angels at the New School; The Most of Nora Ephron, featuring the script of Lucky Guy, is published; Ryan Scott Oliver’s Darling gets a concert performance at 54 Below.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5
WE’LL HAVE WHAT BILLY CRYSTAL’S HAVING
Just in time for the holidays, Billy Crystal’s Tony-winning solo show 700 Sundays returns to Broadway for a nine-week limited engagement. This autobiographical evening (named for the number of Sundays Crystal spent with his father before the elder Crystal’s sudden death 50 years ago) is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
ALSO: First previews for August Wilson bio How I Learned What I Learned at Signature Theatre and Dennis Kelly’s drama Taking Care of Baby at MTC’s City Center Staget II; Paulo Szot and Joanna Gleason return (separately!) to 54 Below.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6
THE RETURN OF A KILLER MUSICAL
The zany musical mystery Murder For Two makes its official off-Broadway bow at New World Stages. An acclaimed hit in its summer debut at Second Stage Uptown, the show stars Jeff Blumenkrantz as all of the suspects in a murder being investigated by Brett Ryback—and somehow both actors play the piano! Get ready for a night of laughs, directed by Scott Schwartz.
ALSO: Magic extravaganza Nothing to Hide opens at the Signature Center; two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole begins a three-night engagement at 54 Below; Sam Wasson's Fosse biography and Glen Berger's Song of Spider-Man memoir are published; Tony winner Billy Porter is accused of a heinous crime on Law & Order: SVU.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7
IL DIVO LAUNCHES A MUSICAL AFFAIR
Those dashing dudes of Il Divo have turned their talents to the greatest songs of the Great White Way. To celebrate the release of their new recording A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs of Broadway Live, the group will play a limited engagement through November 13 at the Marquis Theatre. The best news for Broadway fans: Tony winner Heather Headley is the featured guest star!
ALSO: Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian opens on Theatre Row, produced by the New Group; sexy vaudeville show La Soiree opens at the Union Square Theatre; Patti LuPone heads to Far Away Places in a Carnegie Hall solo concert; Adam Lambert guest-stars on Glee’s “A Katy or a Gaga” episode.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8
DOOR CHIMES, IN COMES COMPANY
After a long week at the office, what could be better than a martini with Bobby baby, Bobby bubbi and friends…make that Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of the New York Philharmonic’s 2011 Company, which will be broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. See Patti LuPone salute “The Ladies Who Lunch” and Katie Finneran explain why she’s “Not Getting Married,” all before Sondheim okayed a gay version of the show!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
ROMEO & JULIET (DOWNTOWN VERSION) SIGNS OFF
Parting is such sweet sorrow on the final weekend of one of two Romeo & Juliet productions currently playing in NYC. It's your last chance to see rising movie star Elizabeth Olsen and newcomer Julian Cihi make the ultimate sacrifice for love in a playful production at Classic Stage Company. You won't want to miss Daphne Rubin Vega's sassy performance as the Nurse!
ALSO: Mamma Mia! celebrates its 5,000th Broadway performance at its new home, the Broadhurst Theatre.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10
A DOUBLE DOSE OF MARK RYLANCE
Audiences and fellow performers revere Mark Rylance for his fully committed, vanity-free stage performances. Well, the two-time Best Actor winner may be on his way back to the Tonys with dual roles in Twelfth Night (as Olivia) and Richard III (as the evil title monarch). The plays, which are being performed in rep, celebrate their opening night at Broadway's Belasco Theatre.
ALSO: Lee Roy Reams re-celebrates his 40th birthday and Jarrod Spector returns to 54 Below; Christian Borle, Hunter Parrish, Renee Elise Goldsberry & Nathan Lane guest-star on The Good Wife.