Cheap things to do: Best off-off broadway theater

This homey spot has just gotten a snazzy face-lift, so you can now enjoy its interdisciplinary programming (particularly movement-rich or puppet-infused work priced at $20--$35 per ticket) while sated from the in-house caf. 145 Sixth Ave between Broome and SpringSts (212-647-0202,

Ars Nova
After relaunching as a nonprofit house just last year, this slender, luxe venue has gone into production overdrive, with a reading series, comedy nights and a welcome penchant for raucously fun, young work like the premiere of a Jollyship the Whiz-Bang production or last season’s Boom.Tickets range from FREE to $20. 511 W 54th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-868-4444,

P.S. 122
Still the Off-Off venue to beat, the scrupulously curated former school gives New York a $15-per-ticket education in envelope-pushing experimental work by up-and-comers (Okwui Okpokwasili), local heroes (Jay Scheib) and traveling wunderkinder (Ireland’s Pan Pan Theater). 150 First Ave at 9th St (212-228-4249,

The Brick
Small but mighty, this tiny cube in Williamsburg plays host to clown shows, radio theater, environmental productions of classics (like last season’s Notes from Underground) and drolly themed festivals that thoughtfully investigate concepts like “pretentiousness” or “antidepressants.” Expect to pay $15 to $20 for a ticket. 575 Metropolitan Ave between Lorimer St and Union Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-907-6189,

Ohio Theatre
We used it, and yet we still might lose it. This gorgeous, lofty, improbable theater in Soho has formed a vital microclimate in the Off-Off ecosystem, but now it faces extinction. Since Robert Lyons and his Soho Think Tank have always offered us cheap tickets ($15--$25), maybe it’s time to send them a minidonation at 66 Wooster St between Broome and Spring Sts (212-966-4844,

La MaMa E.T.C.
Ellen Stewart’s venerable institution sprawls across East 4th Street, with stages large (the Annex), small (the original theater) and positively wee (the Club). Occasionally the productions ($13--$25 per ticket) may remind you rather too forcibly of the spot’s ’60s heyday, but thrilling shows like the Theatre of the Two-Headed Calf’s Major Barbara continue Stewart’s incredible legacy. 74A E 4th St between Bowery and Second Ave (212-475-7710,

The Chocolate Factory
Nothing could be sweeter than this industrial set of spaces (where tix range from FREE to $15), curated with an eye for the avant-garde and geared toward the line between dance and theater. Artistic director Brian Rogers has scored some surprising coups for his Long Island City base: Major names like Mac Wellman and Tere O’Connor have premiered their work here. 5-49 49th Ave at Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens (718-482-7069,

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