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Saturday, April 1, 2017

10 Groovy Things to Do in April starring Andrew Garfield and Charles Busch

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) Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael in The Highs and Lows of Musical Duos
Every Saturday in April (1, 8, 15, 22 and 29) at Davenport's Cabaret in Chicago
In their brand new annual April show, the award-winning duo explore the music and the intriguing relationships of Simon & Garfunkel and Steve & Eydie. They also celebrate other 20th century duos including The Carpenters, Fred & Adele Astaire and Loggins & Messina.

2) Six Degrees of Separation
Broadway previews begin April 5. Opens April 25 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Seven-time Emmy Award winner Allison Janney (Mom, The West Wing), Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart) and Corey Hawkins (24: Legacy, Straight Outta Compton) star in this revival of John Guare’s 1990 play, which is about a mysterious young con man who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple.

3) TCM Classic Film Festival 2017
April 6 - 9 in Hollywood
Turner Classic Movies will open the 8th annual film festival on April 6 with a 50th Anniversary screening of the 1967 classic, In the Heat of the Night. Actor Sidney Poitier, producer Walter Mirisch, director Norman Jewison, actress Lee Grant and composer Quincy Jones will be on hand to discuss the film.

Other special events include tributes to actress Lee Grant (with screenings of 1951's Detective Story and 1970's The Landlord), director Peter Bogdanovich (with screenings of 1971's The Last Picture Show and 1972's What's Up, Doc?), and Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher (with screenings of 1952's Singin' in the Rain and 1990's Postcards from the Edge).

The festival will also include appearances by actor Michael Douglas (who will introduce a screening of 1979's The China Syndrome and participate in an interview about his life and career), director Mel Brooks (who will introduce a 40th anniversary screenings of 1977's High Anxiety), actor/screenwriter Buck Henry (who will introduce a 50th anniversary world premiere restoration of 1967's The Graduate), director John Badham and actress Donna Pescow (who will introduce a 40th anniversary world premiere restoration of 1977's Saturday Night Fever), actors Fred Willard, John Michael Higgins, Jim Piddock and Bob Balaban (who will discuss 2000's Best in Show), actor Bob Newhart (who will introduce a screening of 1962's Hell Is For Heroes), and director John Landis and screenwriters Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker (who will attend a 40th anniversary screening of 1977's The Kentucky Fried Movie and participate in a conversation about the film).

4) Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
April 11 - August 19 at London's National Theatre
This revival of Tony Kushner’s epic two-part play about life during the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York stars Andrew Garfield as Prior Walter, Denise Gough as Harper Pitt, Nathan Lane as Roy Cohn, James McArdle as Louis Ironson, and Russell Tovey as Joe Pitt. The play will also be broadcast live in cinemas on July 20 (Part One: Millennium Approaches) and July 27 (Part Two: Perestroika).

5) Concert For America: Stand Up, Sing Out!
April 18 at NYC's Town Hall
The fourth edition of this monthly concert series will feature Barry Manilow, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Oskar Eustis, Lisa Lampanelli, LaChanze, Andy Cohen and Caroline Rhea. SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, Broadway producer James Wesley, created Concert For America to help support five national organizations working to protect human rights - Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, and the Sierra Club Foundation.

6) Ebertfest 2017: 19th Annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival
April 19 - 23 at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois
This year's slate of films and attendees include Hair (1979), Hysteria (2011) with director Tanya Wexler and actor Hugh Dancy, Elle (2016) with actress Isabelle Huppert, Pleasantville (1998) with director Gary Ross, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (2016) with Norman Lear, Being There (1979) and De-Lovely (2004) with director Irwin Winkler.

7) Lady X - The Musical
April 21 - June 10 at Mary's Attic in Chicago
Hell in a Handbag Productions opens its 15th season with the world premiere of this campy musical parody based on the crime melodrama films of the 1930s and '40s. It’s the story of seedy nightclubs, the menacing gangsters who run them and the loose women that keep the customers coming back for more! Below you can watch a scene from Handbag's 2010 production of the original play, Lady X (click here to read my review).

8) Red Scare on Sunset
April 24 at NYC's Theater for the New City
Charles Busch will appear in his 1991 madcap comedy as film star Mary Dale, who discovers that her husband has been lured into the local Communist party in 1950's Hollywood. Directed by Carl Andress, this one-night only staged concert reading to benefit TNC will also star Christopher Borg, Alison Fraser, June Gable, Julie Halston, Andy Halliday, David Pittu, Tony Sheldon and Jonathan Walker.

9) 31st Annual Easter Bonnet Competition
April 24 & 25 at NYC's Minskoff Theatre
This highly anticipated annual event features performers from Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies sharing original skits, songs and dances as well as their elaborately designed bonnets. Last year's competition and fundraising campaign raised $5.5 million for Broadway Cares.

10) My Fair Lady
April 28 - May 21 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
This new production of the 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical stars Richard E. Grant (as Henry Higgins), Lisa O'Hare (as Eliza Doolittle) and Bryce Pinkham (as Freddy Eynsford-Hill).

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