Looks like there are more stars in New York City this week than in the sky above! Two Broadway.com Audience Choice Award hosts, Gleeâ€™s Darren Criss and TV personality Wendy Williams, are making big splashy stage appearances, while screen stars Bette Midler and Holland Taylor wrap up their respective solo shows. Read on below for all the hottest events around town the week of June 24.
MONDAY, JUNE 24
LOVE HURTS AS RANTOUL AND DIE OPENS OFF-BROADWAY
The daring young theater company The Amoralists presents the New York premiere of Mark Robertsâ€™ love-hate dramedy Rantoul and Die. The play charts the end of a blue-collar couple’s rocky marriage and the drama that comes when one party isnâ€™t quite ready to let go. The show runs at Cherry Lane Theatre through July 20.
ALSO: Raunchy comedy The Banana Monologues opens at Theatre Row; the visual spectacular iLuminate begins previews at New World Stages; Mormon Tony winner Nikki M. James plays her final performance at 54; Sherie Rene Scott kicks off her second week of Piece of Meat at 54 Below; Old Hats showstopper Nellie McKay performs at the Downtown Express soundtrack release party at Joeâ€™s Pub; and Buyer & Cellar, starring Michael Urie, celebrates its re-opening off-Broadway.
TUESDAY, JUNE 25
CHEYENNE JACKSON RELEASES I’M BLUE, SKIES
Forget Joni Mitchell, there’s a new Blue album by Broadway matinee idol (and budding screen star) Cheyenne Jackson, and it’s not to be missed. I’m Blue,Skies is Jackson’s first full length solo album following his EP Drive and its sound ranges from the fun and carefree “Don’t Want to Know” to the melancholy “Don’t Look at Me”, co-written by pop star Sia. Download it today, and then let’s all start an aggressive Twitter campaign for I’m Blue,Skies concert dates.
ALSO: Itâ€™s Just Sex, the swinging new comedy about uninhibited couples, officially opens off-Broadway at Actors Temple; the cast recording for the off-Broadway musical The Last Smoker in America is released; The new book Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine comes out; and Tony-winning Jersey Boy John Lloyd Young begins a week-long engagement at CafÃ© Carlyle.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
SHERIE RENE SCOTT OFFERS A TASTY CUT OF MEAT AT 54 BELOW
Spice up your Wednesday by spending an evening with the one and only Sherie Rene Scott at 54 Below. The Broadway fave is performing an encore run of her acclaimed show Piece of Meat (which won raves in New York, London and Australia). Pair this decadent and delicious evening with a fine glass of wine, and enjoy!
ALSO: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond continues to slay audiences at 54 Below.
THURSDAY, JUNE 27
DARREN CRISS ROCKS NYC
Cue the screams from teenage girls: Glee star and Broadway alum Darren Criss takes over Roseland Ballroom as his Listen Up tour hits the Big Apple. Criss is playing a mix of original songs, covers and showtunes (yay!). Spending a night serenaded by Darren Criss? You donâ€™t have to ask us twiceâ€¦
ALSO: Roundaboutâ€™s gripping family drama The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin opens off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre.
FRIDAY, JUNE 28
WENDY WILLIAMS IS CHICAGOâ€™S NEW HOT MAMA
How You Doinâ€™, Broadway? TV talk show queen Wendy Williams makes her Broadway debut as Matron â€œMamaâ€ Morton in the long-running revival of Chicago. Williams will sport her Anna Wintour wig and belt Kander and Ebbâ€™s saucy showstopper â€œWhen Youâ€™re Good to Mamaâ€ through August 11. Thatâ€™s seven weeks of extra razzle dazzle over at the Ambassador Theatre.
ALSO: Tony nominee Carolee Carmello saves souls as the cast recording of Scandalous becomes available; Broadway vet Jim Parsons appears on The Late Show with David Letterman; Maggie Gyllenhaal, who will lead MCC Theaterâ€™s The Village Bike, drops in on Chelsea Lately; and the film adaptation of the off-Broadway play Some Girl(s) gets a limited release.
SATURDAY, JUNE 29
REASONS TO BE HAPPY CONCLUDES, SADLY
The brief off-Broadway romance with Neil LaButeâ€™s Reasons to Be Happy comes to an end at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. This follow-up piece to Reasons to Be Pretty stars Jenna Fischer, Josh Hamilton, Leslie Bibb and Fred Weller as a dysfunctional but lovable group of friends, exes and lovers. Donâ€™t miss your chance to fall in love with this Happy company.
ALSO: Celebrate Gay Pride in New York City with Ben Rimalowerâ€™s acclaimed one-man show about Patti LuPone, Patti Issues; Sherie Rene Scott plays her final performance of A Piece of Meat at 54; John Lloyd Young ends his concert run at CafÃ© Carlyle; Alice Ripley, Kacie Sheik, Andrew Kober and more perform a concert reading of Zoe Sarnak’s new musical A Lasting Impression at Joe’s Pub.
SUNDAY, JUNE 30
BETTE MIDLER TAKES HER FINAL BITE IN Iâ€™LL EAT YOU LAST
Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Bette Midler takes her final bow as Sue Mengers in the one-woman-comedy Iâ€™ll Eat You Last. In her grand return to the Broadway stage, the Divine Miss M drank, cussed, smoked and gossiped up a storm. Itâ€™s anyoneâ€™s guess when Midler will next appear on the Great White Way, so catch her in Iâ€™ll Eat You Last while you still have the chance.
ALSO: Holland Taylor hangs up her wig as Ann ends its Broadway run; the Publicâ€™s futuristic musical Venice concludes its off-Broadway run; and Tony winner Liev Schreiberâ€™s drama series Ray Donovan premieres on Showtime.