Last week we alerted thrifty theatergoers to the two-for-one ticket deals available at some shows during Broadway Week, Sept 8-17. Well if those seats are still too pricey for you, consider a parallel offer Off Broadway: the return of 20at20. The folks at the Off Broadway Alliance are making $20 tickets available to participating Off Broadway shows 20 minutes before curtain time, from Sept 5–25. Great deal, right? Depends on what shows we’re talking about. Of the dozens of titles to choose from, there are only five or six we can in good conscience recommend. But don’t trust us: If you want to see why the abysmal tourist trap Perfect Crime has been running for nearly 30 years, knock yourself out. No, really: Knock yourself out. You’ll enjoy it better unconscious.
For the rest of you, here are our picks, ranked. The full 20at20 list is here.
1. Small Mouth Sounds
Smart, touching play, amazing ensemble. See it if you can—bring a friend.
2. Avenue Q
The long-running puppet musical: still raunchy after all these years.
3. The Roads to Home
It’s the late, great Horton Foote, and Primary Stages knows how to stage him.
Sure, it’s like a flashback from the grunge-tastic 1990s; go for retro thrills.
5. A Day by the Sea
Like Downton Abbey, Terence Rattigan and tea cosies? You’ll enjoy this 1953 drama.
6. Brian Dennehy on Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller and Samuel Beckett
The American stage pro works his way through theatrical giants.
7. Gazillion Bubble Show
Get stoned, or take the kids. Or get stoned and take the kids.
8. Kate Baldwin 7 Friends: The Music of Georgia Stitt
The lovely and sweet-voiced Broadway vet celebrates the Stitt songbook.