Looking for something a little different? While shows like “Wicked” or “Waitress” are tourism standards for good reason, some visitors like to dig a little deeper. There are hundreds of shows in the City that Never Sleeps, taking place all over Broadway and at off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway venues. The New York City theater scene offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a theater junkie who’s already seen all the iconic shows of Broadway or you just have a taste for unusual fare, you’re bound to find something to love in this list of alternative theater experiences.
Image via Flickr by Mike Appel
Third Rail Project’s “Ghost Light” takes you through a series of dreamlike landscapes where you will experience a “benevolent haunting” through the mystique of theatricality and performance. This immersive experience takes you into unseen corners of the theater. You will be walking and climbing stairs and will at times be separated from your group, so dress comfortably and be prepared to check your bags. This show is not suitable for children. You can see it at the Claire Tow Theater.
With three Tony Award nominations under its belt, including a nomination for Best Play, “Indecent” has moved from off-Broadway to the main strip at the Cort Theater. According to New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood, “‘Indecent’ sheds an eye-opening light on a little-known time when theatrical history, Jewish culture and the frank depiction of homosexuality intersected, with explosive results.” The show tells the behind-the-scenes story of Sholem Asch’s
“God of Vengeance,” a play that prompted an obscenity charge and conviction in the 1920s for featuring a brothel and a lesbian love story (the conviction was successfully appealed). A cast of just seven actors tells the story of the creative minds behind that explosive show.
Perhaps you remember the film adaptation of “Marvin’s Room,” which featured a powerhouse cast that included Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Hume Cronyn, and Robert De Niro. Or maybe you remember the original play that debuted in 1990 and featured Mark Rosenthal. The Roundabout Theater is staging a revival of Scott McPherson’s dark comedy about death, dying, life, and living, starring two edgy ’90s icons: Janeane Garofalo and Lili Taylor. In 1991, New York Times reviewer Frank Rich described “Marvin’s Room” as “one of the funniest plays of this year as well as one of the wisest and most moving.” It opens at the American Airlines Theater in late June.
‘Sleep No More’
Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More” is a darkly cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” presented in an immersive style. Audience members are free to wander and choose their own paths through the story’s epic world, so your journey through the play will be uniquely your own. Let your curiosity guide you through this voyeuristic theatrical experience at The McKittrick Hotel.
‘The Box Show’
In the off-off-Broadway production of “The Box Show” at the People’s Improv Theater, Dominique Salerno performs an amazing array of work from inside a cube. Her cube becomes the inside of the Trojan Horse, where warriors prepare one another for battle, or a dance floor where a courtship takes place. The show is funny but with moments of poignant darkness that bring it texture and give the show a marvelous synergy.
From interactive Shakespearean adventures to a woman in a box, New York City has your offbeat entertainment needs covered.
Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer and serial entrepreneur currently based in St. Louis, MO.
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