Cancel all your plans, call up the babysitter and put on your cutest outfit, because this week in show biz is full of opportunities for steppin' out! Two of the most revered actors in the world open in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land, Sarah Jessica Parker returns to off-Broadway and Ethan Hawke has a bloody Broadway return in Macbeth.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18
STARS TEST THEIR STAMINA
Stock up on Red Bull! The always starry 24 Hour Plays returns to the American Airlines Theatre. This must-see benefit features six writers, six directors and 24 actors staying up late to create new works from scratch in—you guessed it—24 hours. Celebs who will rehearse and perform include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jordin Sparks, Rachel Dratch, Jason Biggs, Rosie Perez, Zachary Levi, Jennifer Westfeldt and more (very) caffeinated participants, with scripts by Pulitzer Prize winners David Lindsay-Abaire, Lynn Nottage and more.
ALSO: The New 42nd Street honors former Disney honcho Michael D. Eisner with such supporters as Heather Headley, Alan Menken and Julie Taymor; three-time Tony nominee Dee Hoty opens in The Preacher and the Shrink at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row; the Artios Awards honor excellence in casting; Tony nominee Josh Gad talks Frozen on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19
TRUTH GOES ON TRIAL
Dennis Kelly, who won a Tony for the book of Matilda, delves into dark and disturbing territory in Manhattan Theatre Club's off-Broadway premiere of Taking Care of Baby. The drama involves an unspeakable tragedy and explores the elusive nature of truth. Starring Margaret Colin as the matriarch of a shattered family, this documentary-style play will leave you moved, mortified and mesmerized.
ALSO: Get your Burt Bacharach fix with What’s it All About? Bacharach Reimagined. The musical celebration, starring former Spring Awakening hottie Kyle Riabko, premieres at New York Theatre Workshop; defy gravity with Wicked’s Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition CD, featuring two bonus tracks; Meet John Doe, the Jonathan Larson Award-winning musical by Andrew Gerle and Eddie Sugarman, is released on the Broadway Records label.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
PRETTY BIG LIARS
Small Engine Repair, starring Pretty Little Liars’ dreamy Keegan Allen, The Wire’s James Ransone, rising movie star James Badge Dale (son of Broadway great Anita Morris) and playwright John Pollono, opens at the Lucile Lortel Theatre. The play follows what happens when a preppy college jock is lured to a New Hampshire repair shop, where three blue collar high school buddies have a few surprises in store. It's an intense and exciting comic thriller from MCC Theater.
ALSO: Roundabout Underground’s world premiere of Too Much, Too Much, Too Many opens at the Black Box Theatre; Charles Fuller’s One Night…, an unflinching look at women in the armed forces, opens at Cherry Lane Theatre.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
ALL HAIL, ETHAN HAWKE
Foul is fair as Ethan Hawke returns to the stage as the murderous title character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater. British stage star Anne-Marie Duff plays Hawke’s accomplice wife in Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien's stripped-down and starry production of toil and trouble, with Broadway faves Brian d'Arcy James and Daniel Sunjata in supporting roles.
ALSO: Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner open in Amanda Peet’s debut play The Commons of Pensacola at MTC, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, starring Tony nominee Jessie Mueller, begins Broadway previews.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
THEATER STARS ON THE BIG SCREEN
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire gets a wide release today, and you can play spot the Broadway star when you hit the Cineplex to catch it. The stage names involved include Tony winner Jeffrey Wright, Tony nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Lynn Cohen, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Woody Harrelson and more. Forget District 12; let’s hear it for the Theater District!
ALSO: Regular Singing, the final play in Richard Nelson’s four-play series about the Apple family, opens at the Public Theater; Dreamgirls Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson visits Kelly & Michael.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
GOODBYE UNTIL TOMORROW
It's your last chance to see Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown in concert at 54 Below. Known for his gorgeous scores to Parade and The Last Five Years, Brown will be joined on stage by cast members from his new works, The Bridges of Madison County and Honeymoon in Vegas, as well as winners of the online JRB Karaoke competition. (Yes, that’s a thing.)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
YOU SAY GOD-oh, I SAY god-OH
Acting legends Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart open their existential double bill of No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot. With Tony winners Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley rounding out the cast, you know you’re in good hands as you revisit these theatrical masterpieces. You may argue about how to pronounce “Godot,” but you will not question the brilliance up on stage.
ALSO: It’s opening night for Ruben-Santiago Hudson, who channels August Wilson in How I Learned What I Learned at the Signature Theatre; Ann Hampton Callaway shows off her golden pipes at 54 Below.