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Sunday, November 1, 2015

10 Groovy Things to Do in November starring Leslie Jordan and "Joan Crawford"

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) Simply Sensational with Alexandra Billings
November 2 at Chicago's Stage 773
Actress/singer/activist Alexandra Billings (Amazon's Transparent) headlines Pride Films and Plays' annual fall benefit, Simply Sensational, with WGN’s Dean Richards as the emcee. The evening also includes performances by Honey West, Skylar Kergil, Michelle Lauto, James Nedrud, Jordan Phelps, Donterrio Johnson, Lauren Sivak and Carolyn Reynolds as well as short scenes from PFP’s current production of Noël Coward's Design for Living, excerpts from upcoming shows, Ten Dollar House and Raggedy And, and a fashion show of PFP Artistic Associate John Nasca’s 30 years as a costume designer.

Off-Broadway previews begin November 3. Opens November 18 at The New Group at the Signature Center.
Cynthia Nixon directs Mark Gerrard's new comedy about Being Alive and What I Did For Love in New York, New York...and All That Jazz. Matt McGrath stars as Steven, a failed Broadway chorus boy turned stay-at-home dad who finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty as he celebrates yet another birthday. The cast also includes ​Ashlie Atkinson, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Malcolm Gets and Francisco Pryor Garat.

3) Michele Lee: Nobody Does It Like Me, The Music of Cy Coleman
November 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
As part of Barbara Cook's Spotlight series, the Emmy and two-time Tony nominee (Knots Landing, Seesaw, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) makes her Kennedy Center debut.

4) School of Rock
Broadway previews begin November 9. Opens December 6 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
This brand new musical is based on the 2003 film about a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school and forms a band with his young students. The cast includes Alex Brightman and Sierra Boggess, and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed 14 new songs to create a score, which also features all the original songs from the movie.

5) Our Guy, Cy: The Songs of Cy Coleman
November 11-13 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
Directed and conceived by Will Nunziata, this unforgettable theatrical event brings together three Tony Award winners who all originated roles on Broadway in a Cy Coleman show - Randy Graff (City of Angels), Cady Huffman (The Will Rogers Follies) and Judy Kaye (On the Twentieth Century).

6) Leslie Jordan in Not In My House!
November 13 & 14 at Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco
An active supporter of the LGBT community, the Emmy Award winner (Will & Grace) was inspired to create his new one-man show after a headline-making confrontation with a pair of assailants using anti-gay slurs while at his local West Hollywood Starbucks.

7) The Color Purple
Broadway previews begin November 10. Opens December 10 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) makes her long-awaited Broadway debut as the sultry Shug Avery in director John Doyle's new production of the musical, which also stars British actress Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black).

8) Feminine Persuasion: Ann Hampton Callaway Celebrates Women Songwriters
November 22-28 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
For her annual Thanksgiving week show at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Callaway has crafted an exciting world premiere night of music centered on the songs of women songwriters who have inspired her - including Billie Holiday, Carole King, Dorothy Fields, Peggy Lee, Joni Mitchell, Cynthia Weil, Michele Brourman and Amanda McBroom. And expect to enjoy moments of Ann at the piano singing the best of her original songs.

9) Once Upon a Mattress
November 23 - January 3 at NYC's Abrons Arts Center
Jackie Hoffman and John "Lypsinka" Epperson star as Princess Winnifred and Queen Aggravain in Transport Group's revival of the 1959 musical with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Barer, Jay Thompson and Dean Fuller.

10) Christmas Dearest 2015
November 28 - January 2 at Mary's Attic in Chicago
Everybody's favorite holiday bitch is back and she's meaner then ever in the return of Hell in a Handbag's parody of A Christmas Carol starring David Cerda as Joan Crawford. On Christmas Eve, Joan visits her shady past, her appalling present and her eye-popping future in a tale of glamorous redemption set to music.

Christmas Dearest photo by Rick Aguilar.

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