Off-Off Broadway shows in NYC
Tom and Betsy Salamon’s unique adventure—part interactive theater, part scavenger hunt, part walking tour—draws participants into an amusing web of puzzles and intrigue. You can choose between the three-hour New York tour, which takes participants through various neighborhoods of lower Manhattan, or the two-hour Village tour, which travels through quirky Greenwich Village on Saturdays. Groups of as many as 11 are booked every half hour.
The veteran experimentalists of Big Dance Theater, led by Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, present a pop-up workshop of their latest work: a staging of poet Anne Carson's brief radical-feminist reimagining of the ultimate protest play, Sophocles' Antigone. (Audiences at both the early and late performances are invited to partake in a "Dionysian libation" of food and drink between the shows.)
Before they made it huge as the screenwriters of the Despicable Me series, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio wrote the 2001 movie Bubble Boy, a road-trip romantic comedy about young man with a heavily compromised immune system. In 2008, they adapted it into a musical, which is now making its belated NYC debut. Nikki DiLoreto directs a cast that includes Brock Bivens as the sealed-off hero and Erin Ulman as the girl of his dreams.
Theater review by Adam Feldman Page 73’s production of Mia Chung’s Catch as Catch Can is so smoothly virtuosic that it takes a while to realize how good it really is. The play depicts six members of two closely intertwined working-class families in New England, and three of New York’s most indispensable actors—Jeff Biehl, Michael Esper and Jeanine Serralles—play two roles each: one character of roughly their own age, and that same character’s parent of the opposite gender. In the opening scene, the upper-middle-aged Theresa (Esper) and Roberta (Biehl) share a chat, over tea, about the British royal family and their own unsettled children, whom we meet shortly afterward: Theresa’s highly educated son, Tim (Esper)—newly engaged but returned home to visit his widowed mother—and Roberta’s offspring, Daniela (Serralles) and Robbie (Biehl). The actors don’t change costumes, but they are exceptionally clear in delineating their shifts between characters, which become progressively faster and more furious. What seems at first like a family comedy, gently well-observed and rich in sidelong detail, takes a sharp turn with the introduction of a terrifying mental illness that seems to rip apart not only the person who suffers from it, but the fabric of the play itself. Right at intermission, Catch as Catch Can has a psychotic break, and what follows is scary, sad and often disorienting. Chung and director Ken Rus Schmoll—who, working with designer Arnulfo Maldonado, frames the product
After more than 15 years at the Waldorf Astoria, Steve Cohen, billed as the Millionaires’ Magician, now conjures his high-class parlor magic in the marble-columned Madison Room at the swank Lotte New York Palace. Audiences must dress to be impressed (cocktail attire is required); tickets start at $100, with an option to pay more for meet-and-greet time and extra tricks with Cohen after the show. But if you've come to see a classic-style magic act, you get what you pay for. Sporting a tuxedo and bright rust hair, the magician delivers routines that he has buffed to a patent-leather gleam: In addition to his signature act—"Think-a-Drink," involving a kettle that pours liquids by request—highlights include a lulu of levitation trick and a card-trick finale that leaves you feeling like, well, a million bucks.
After many years at the Brooklyn Lyceum, Pig Brooch Theatre Company's annual Christmas show has spent the last three yuletides roving among different venues in Gowanus. This year the scrappy show plants its Peanuts at Littlefield NYC, with a live jazz trio playing Vince Guaraldi's beloved music.
Welcome to the cult of Amanda Duarte. The dark queen of satire assembles her own team of creative freedom fighters at this monthly forum for scrapped projects, cut pieces and lost art. Head to the stunning Judson Memorial Church to catch one-time-only readings and rants from the matchlessly incendiary Duarte and a sharp lineup of guests. The November edition includes Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Doug Wright, singer-songwriter David Clement, cartoonist Emily Flake and writer-performer Kim Katzberg.
Four performers play a variety of famous women (including Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump) in an interactive theater experience, in which the brain activity of the cast and some audience members is monitored and analyzed to explore how we respond to various modes of femininity. The piece, created by costar Tjasa Fermé, is directed by Ana Margineanu for Transforma Theatre.
Kymberly Harris directs a revival Sam Shepard's 1983 psychosexual drama, set in a desert motel, about a couple trapped in a destructive relationship—one that manages to be both carnal and, disturbingly, familial. Andrew Dits and Sophia Silver play the central pair.
Once devoted to extending the runs of shows from the New York International Fringe Festival, this annual series has more recently expanded its purview to encompass productions from Fringe Festivals in Florida, California, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. This year's roster includes musicals, comedies, dramas, a drag tribute to Marlene Dietrich and riffs on Hamlet, Beowulf and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
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Adventurous theatergoers looking for great plays and musicals can get details, reviews and tickets for Off Broadway shows in New York
Looking for the best Off-Off Broadway shows? Here are the most promising productions in NYC’s smaller venues right now.
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