Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
Catch WP Theater's Pipeline Festival, a dark comedy by Mel Brooks' daughter-in-law, a pair of wonderful wordless shows and more
Adventurous audiences know that some of the biggest theatrical thrills are found on NYC's smallest stages. These shows are also great for theatregoers on a budget. In fact, TDF members can see dozens of Off-Off Broadway productions for as little as $11! Not a TDF member? Consider joining our Go Off-Off and Beyond program, which gives you access to discount tickets to indie theatre, music and dance performances for a one-time fee of five bucks.
In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, all of these productions require audiences to provide proof of being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine and wear masks. Note that health and safety rules vary by venue, so double-check the protocols before purchasing tickets to avoid disappointment.
Theatre East: Edie Saves the Birds - April 1
Astoria Performing Arts Center, 44-02 23rd Street between 44th Road and 44th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens
Begins April 1. Closes April 23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
After more than a decade of producing shows in Manhattan, this venerable company marks its 14th anniversary by moving into a permanent space in Queens, which it shares with the Astoria Performing Arts Center. Its latest production is Stephanie Fagan's Edie Saves the Birds, a quirky coming-of-age tale about an awkward 13-year-old girl obsessed with saving the birds until a popular boy catches her eye. Theatre East cofounder Christa Kimlicko Jones plays her single mother.
Broken Box Mime Theatre: Take Shape - April 1
A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West
Begins April 1. Closes May 1. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
Since 2011, the members of Broken Box Mime Theatre have been shattering preconceived notions about their ancient art form by devising relatable, wordless physical theatre pieces set to live, pulsating music. Their first mainstage show in three years, Take Shape, is a series of vignettes about emergence and transformation, exploring the end of romance, the loneliness of isolation, the unmaking of a home and other tales of metamorphosis and renewal. Since the show touches on heavy themes such as climate change, homelessness and war, it's recommended for tweens and up. For audiences with sensory sensitivities, there are relaxed performances on Sundays, April 10 and 17 at 2 p.m., and Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
New Ohio Theatre: Songs About Trains - April 5
New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets in the West Village
Previews begin April 5. Opens April 10. Closes April 23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
A theatrical concert chronicling the building of the US rail system, Songs About Trains is the brainchild of the arts collective Radical Evolution, and coproduced by New Ohio Theatre and Working Theater. Using 21 folk songs and evocative stories from the era, the show celebrates the multicultural workforce that changed our country, and explores issues of immigration, labor and class as a select few became outrageously wealthy off the backs of downtrodden workers. An excellent counterpoint to HBO's The Gilded Age.
Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street between Mott and Elizabeth Streets in Noho
Begins April 12. Closes May 1. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $20 tickets.
Playwright and performer Ian Eaton grew up in Harlem's Manhattanville Projects and credits his exposure to the arts, especially classes at Harlem School of the Arts and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, with changing the trajectory of his life. His new drama draws on his own adolescent experiences, especially losing his older brother to street violence while navigating strict West Indian parents and Catholic school. Presented by Houses on the Moon Theater Company, SuperHero centers on a young boy who fantasizes that superpowers will fix all his problems. But a tragic event and a neighborhood bully force him to decide who he wants to be.
Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin April 14. Opens May 3. Closes May 21. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $23.50 tickets.
Michelle Kholos Brooks thought about changing the name of her play, but her father-in-law Mel Brooks told her to keep it. He certainly knows a thing or two about comedies involving Hitler! H*tler's Tasters is a pitch-black comedy about the young German women forced to make sure the Führer's food wasn't poisoned. While that really happened, this is a fictionalized look at their lives as they navigate sexuality, friendship and patriotism during the Third Reich. A hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the show is directed by Sarah Norris, who infuses the action with dance and all-girl pop-rock.
The New Stage Theatre Company: Cosmicomics - April 17
New Stage Performance Space, 36 West 106th Street between Manhattan Avenue and Central Park West on the Upper West Side
Begins April 17. Closes April 29.
The New Stage Theatre Company celebrates its 20th anniversary with a remounting of its acclaimed 2014 production Cosmicomics, inspired by Italo Calvino's novel of the same name, adapted and directed by founder Ildiko Nemeth. In this eye-popping production, anthropomorphized mathematical formulae and cellular structures recall the evolution of the universe with all the excitement, heartbreak, love and loss humans experience. A narrator named Qfwfq takes us from his innocent childhood before the Big Bang, to the birth of light and color, to the advent of life. A one-of-a-kind experience that makes the cosmos relatable featuring veteran Hollywood character actor Paul Guilfoyle.
the american vicarious: Shooting Celebrities - April 21
The Flea, 20 Thomas Street between Broadway and Church Street in Tribeca
Previews begin April 21. Opens April 28. Closes May 22. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $18 tickets.
A portrait and a parsing of Mathew Brady, the pioneering 19th-century photographer who captured famous figures such as Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln, Shooting Celebrities marks the inaugural collaboration between director Christopher McElroen and renowned playwright-artist John Ransom Phillips. Seated in the round in Brady's studio, an intimate audience meets a cast of iconic Americans memorialized by his lens. But when Mary Todd Lincoln arrives, she challenges their perspectives on our country and on her, the alleged crazy widow of the 16th President. An exploration of the ever-evolving nature of how we understand our own history.
Kulunka Teatro: André & Dorine - April 27
Theatre at St Clement's, 423 West 46th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin April 27. Opens April 29. Closes May 29. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $23 tickets.
After a decade of performances in more than 30 countries, the heartrending André & Dorine makes its New York City debut. Created by Kulunka Teatro, an avant-garde theatre company founded in 2010 in the Basque region of Spain, this poignant play explores the enduring love between two elderly spouses impacted by dementia. There's no dialogue; the couple's relationship is conjured solely through physical theatre, with the two leads wearing wonderfully expressive masks. An unforgettable romance about disremembering.
JACK: Trash - April 28
20 Putnam Ave between Grand and Downing in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Begins April 28. Closes April 30.
As part of its Lab incubator series, Obie-winning performance space JACK presents Trash, a comical two-hander written by and starring James Caverly (Only Murders in the Building) and Andrew Morrill about two Deaf roommates whose views on everything, from navigating a hearing world to taking out the garbage, differ wildly. An insightful exploration of disability and how the Deaf community is not a monolith.
New Ohio Theatre: iNegro, a rhapsody - April 28
New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets in the West Village
Begins April 28. Closes May 14. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.
Part of Kareem M. Lucas' "3 Ages of a Negro" trilogy, iNegro, a rhapsody is an autobiographical, Afro-surrealist deep dive into a young Black man's consciousness as he wrestles with his community, his faith, his culture and himself. Obie-winning director Stevie Walker-Webb sparked this series, and this piece is dedicated to Lucas' mentor, the late Craig muMs Grant, a groundbreaking Black actor and slam poet.
WP Theater: Pipeline Festival - Throughout April & May
WP Theater at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street on the Upper West Side
Through May 14. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account and search for Pipeline to purchase $12 tickets to various readings.
WP Theater's lauded Pipeline Festival returns to in-person performances with an intriguing lineup of five new works created by five collaborative teams from the company's two-year Lab residency. All participants are women+ (cis and transwomen, nonbinary or gender-nonconforming individuals) from diverse backgrounds, and there are a few playwrights who already have excellent Off-Broadway track records such as Nambi E. Kelley and Haruna Lee. Each play runs for one weekend and it's worth browsing all the titles as the pieces explore a wide range of topics, including immigration, family dysfunction, imprisonment, sexual and gender identity, and abuse. Note that plural (love) is an online experience.
Andrew Block is an Ovation Award-winning director who hails from New Orleans and now works primarily with the vibrant NYC independent theatre community. He also serves as TDF's Manager of Off & Off-Off Broadway Services.
TDF MEMBERS: Go here to browse our latest discounts for dance, theatre and concerts.
The cast of Songs About Trains, which is running at the New Ohio Theatre. Photo by Valerie Terranova.