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Exciting & Inexpensive Theatre: 16 Shows to See Off-Off Broadway This February

By: Andrew Block
Date: Feb 09, 2024

Catch a new play from a Pulitzer finalist, Obie winners David Greenspan and Talking Band, and more

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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.

If you're a TDF member, log in to your account daily to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.

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Theater for the New City: The Boy Who Listened To Paintings - begins February 1

Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets in the East Village

Begins February 1. Closes February 18. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.

Based on the eponymous memoir by the late Dean Kostos, this musical drama chronicles his turbulent teenage years in the 1960s, when depression and synesthesia landed him in a mental hospital and how his passion for art helped him heal. Kostos cowrote this intensely personal piece with Paul Kirby, a memory musical that explores his struggles, including suicide attempts, drug abuse and homophobic bullying, as well as finding salvation in poetry and painting. 

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The Tank: Primordial - begins February 1

The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins February 1. Closes February 25. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

A verbatim docudrama based on interviews with a diverse array of folks, Primordial explores a host of issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, including patient advocacy, maternal health and birth equity. The brainchild of Lillian Isabella and helmed by The Tank's innovative artistic director Meghan Finn, it's a perspective-enhancing take on something we all have in common: birth.

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Rattlestick Theater: Spiritus/Virgil's Dance - begins February 1

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Place between Perry and West 11th Streets in the West Village

Previews begin February 1. Opens February 15. Closes March 9. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Pulitzer finalist Dael Orlandersmith (Yellowman, Until the Flood, Forever) is a fearless playwright and performer whose solo shows take unflinching looks at loaded topics, including racism, rape and family trauma. Loosely inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, her latest one-person play traces the journey of a Bronx native named Virgil from his childhood in the 1960s and '70s, to his life as a deejay, to his return to his roots after his father's death when he discovers his true calling. Produced by Rattlestick Theater in partnership with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, it's a celebration of finding one's purpose.

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Zoomers - begins February 1

Brooklyn Center for Theatre Research, 249 Huron Street between Provost Street and McGuiness Boulevard in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Begins February 1. Closes March 2. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Matthew Gasda (Dimes Square) zeroes in on Gen Z in Zoomers, about a group of aspiring artists playing video games, scrolling social media, drinking, drugging and avoiding adulting in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Less concerned with plot than painting an authentic portrait of this generation, the play has been an indie hit with the twentysomethings it portrays.

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JACK: Self Portraits (Deluxe) - begins February 6

JACK, 20 Putnam Avenue between Grand and Downing Streets in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Begins February 6. Closes February 24.

Phillip Howze, whose Frontiéres Sans Frontières was an acclaimed hit for The Bushwick Starr in 2017, returns to the theatre with Self Portraits (Deluxe), an interrogation of how we see each other in America. Presented promenade-style with the audience following the performers, it conjures an expansive vision of Blackness and how it's perceived in our day and age. Dominique Rider directs this impressionistic piece, which is coproduced by JACK. Note: February 15 is Black Theatre Night with a special discount for members of the community.

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The Brick: On Set with Theda Bara - begins February 6


The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue near Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Previews begin February 6. Opens February 14. Closes March 16.

Obie winner and indie theatre darling David Greenspan stars in On Set with Theda Bara, Joey Merlo's one-man musing about identity, camp and the title silent screen star, a vamp whose haunting images continue to captivate today. The play had a celebrated run as part of last year's Exponential Festival and is being given an encore engagement at Brooklyn's The Brick courtesy of Transport Group and the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Greenspan, who plays a detective, his genderqueer teen and Theda herself, is truly transcendent.

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NYU Skirball: Queer New York International Arts Festival - begins February 7

NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South in the West Village

Begins February 7. Closes February 17. At press time, several Queer New York International Arts Festival offerings were available to TDF members. Log in and search for Queer New York International Arts Festival.

This annual fest returns for the first time in six years, showcasing a wide array of works by queer artists from around the world. The lineup includes the docutheatre piece Yira, yira about sex workers in Argentina; Kill B., a dance performance inspired by Quentin Tarantino's 2003 flick Kill Bill and performance artist Clayton Lee's The Goldberg Variations, which somehow combines Bach's iconic classical composition, queer sexual fantasies and the WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg.

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you don’t have to do anything. - begins February 8

HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue at Dominick Street in Soho

Previews begin February 8. Opens February 11. Closes February 23.

Ryan Drake's new play explores intimacy and sexual identity in the digital age as Teddy and his former classmate Clark have a complicated online correspondence over a decade, parsing their brief in-person relationship in seventh grade and all the drama that came after. Ryan Dobrin directs this world premiere, which is being coproduced by Heroes of the Fourth Turning playwright Will Arbery.

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Chain Winter One Act Festival - begins February 8

Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins February 8. Closes March 3.

The Chain Theatre presents dozens of new one-acts by both emerging and established playwrights. Highlights include Dill (or The Pickle Guy) by longtime journalist Jeryl Brunner and directed by Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg; Shadow of War by playwright-director Taiwo Aloba set during the height of the Nigerian Civil War; and Edward Gibbons-Brown's one-man play Walk It Off starring Carlo Marks (Smallville, Pretty Little Liars) as a former jock looking back on his life. Each evening offers two or three playlets so peruse the schedule and take a chance!

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Et Alia Theater: Until Dark - begins February 15

154, 154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets in the West Village

Begins February 15. Closes March 3.

Written and directed by Federica Borlenghi, this new psychological thriller centers on three sisters and their secrets. When Cass is accused of a horrifying crime, her lawyer sibling Jackie immediate signs on to defend her. But when their sister Lisa arrives, past trauma bubbles up.

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Target Margin Theater: Remember This Trick - begins February 17

Target Margin Theater, 232 52nd Street between the Belt Parkway and Second Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Previews begin February 17. Opens February 28. Closes March 17.

A fascinating and timely twist on a Purim spiel (a comedic retelling of the biblical story of Esther), Remember This Trick explores American anti-Semitism and Jewish resilience. Written and staged by Target Margin's founding artistic director David Herskovits, this new play is a celebration of survival over the ages.

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Muddy Mother Murder - begins February 22

Under St. Marks Theater, 94 St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village

Previews begin February 22. Opens February 23. Closes March 9. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.

Written by mother-daughter team Margaret Rose and Elli Caterisano, Muddy Mother Murder dramatizes the abortion debate as three moms argue over whether it should be legal... then Jesus shows up to do a stand-up routine about reproductive rights! Conceived in the wake of Roe v. Wade's demise, this dark comedy asks lots of tough questions, including whether Mary even wanted to have Jesus.

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Theater for the New City: The Frankenstein Project - begins February 22

Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets in the East Village

Begins February 22. Closes March 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.

The impressively prolific William Electric Black, aka Emmy Award-winning writer Ian Ellis James, is behind this musical adaptation of Mary Shelley's legendary horror novel about a misunderstood monster. Featuring 13 original songs and a 12-member ensemble, it's an ambitious reimagining of a classic.

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Three Scenes in the Life of a Trotskyist - begins February 22

The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins February 22. Closes March 17.

Andy Boyd's new play chronicles the four-decade ideological journey of Lev Trachtenberg, who starts out on the radical left in 1939 and ends up embracing Reagan by 1980. His friends wonder how a man could change that much. A thought-provoking look at how personal experiences influence one's politics. 

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La MaMa: Existentialism - begins February 23

La MaMa's The Downstairs, 66 East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village

Begins February 23. Closes March 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Venerable experimental theatre troupe Talking Band, which turns 50 this year, is having quite a busy month. Right after its married members Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow wrap up The Following Evening at the Perelman Performing Arts Center, they move on to Existentialism, a collaboration with groundbreaking theatre-maker Anne Bogart about a couple living side by side in separate houses trying to find meaning as the clock runs out. All past traditional retirement age, they know a lot about aging with purpose!

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Hunger & Thirst Theatre: The Maid & the Mesmerizer - begins February 29

A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin February 29. Opens March 1. Closes March 16. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Inspired by the Brontë sisters' dark and epic romance novels, The Great Mesmerizer traces the fiery relationship between a stage hypnotist and his talkative assistant. Patricia Lynn wrote and costars in this tumultuous two-hander.

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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.