What’s Lurking Beneath The Main Stem: Our Off-Off Broadway Picks This Spring
New York City is home sweet home to the biggest and brightest in the theatre realm. However, if you're looking for something a bit more “Off…” than what's on The Main Stem, hiding in the cracks and crevices of New York, are theatremakers who are setting out to create mind bending performances that will transport you to their worlds of demons, clown, longing, and utopia. You are only a subway ride and reasonably priced ticket away from some of the eeriest, most reality-altering productions the city has to offer.
Here are our top Off-Off (and Off-Off-Off-Off-Off...) Broadway shows you absolutely must see this spring… and where to find them.
Written and directed by Keelay Gipson
demons is a new Afro-Surrealist play written and directed by award-winning playwright Keelay Gipson (#NewSlaves, imagine sisyphus happy). When the death of their patriarch draws family members home, they must reckon with grief and the haunting realities that death often brings to the surface. A surreal dark comedy, demons. is a meditation on the reality of getting older, of losing a parent, and that ever-elusive quest to exorcize the trauma a family passes down through the generations.
Written and performed by Tanya Perez, Directed by Lorca Peress
A solo performance that dives into the bizarre and cantankerous mind of Pixie the Clown. Part birthday party, part therapy session, this live show shares the real-life tales of being a party entertainer in America. Picture this: the audience rolls into a seemingly delightful birthday party filled with bright colors and balloons. The sounds of children laughing with glee are heard as Pixie rolls onto center stage. With her sweet smile beaming, she pops a balloon with a hint of murderous rage: "Awwww, may it rest in pieces". This begins the rock 'n' roll ride through outlandish personal stories of working as a party clown in NYC and Hollywood.
While The Fricks are notorious for their Annual Mischief Night Conundrum Theatrical Spectacular, now they invite us to a gallery to witness the eerily casual and spell binding reconnection of two (really) old artist friends who will (literally) take you down into their hidden artworld where only two things matter to an artist: when to stop and how to die.
Created by Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks
This June, Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks will crash into Shock Wave Delay at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. The confidential protocol is a composition created and designed by Yoshiko Chuma. This performance is based on twenty chapters that cross over within the frame of two and half hours. Musicians, dancers and designers interact, but not directly—a parallel to incidents of sound, text and action, a metaphor for endless continuous circles of life, fluctuating between utopia and war. While observing, the audience perceives the results of war—tipping utopia. A utopia is an imagined community of society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems.
Theatrical experiences like these are far and few in between. Make sure you screenshot these show titles and dates, hit their follow button, grab your theatre-bestie and get your tickets now. You are closer to experimental theatre than you think. You just have to know where to look.