Theater on the cheaper

bb_tb_dressed_upTheater is an expensive hobby.

For discounts on a site that’s easy to use and requires no sign-ups or registration, we recommend www.broadwaybox.com. We’ll qualify the concept of  “discount” by admitting that Broadway is hardly ever cheap.

You can find many great theatrical experiences among the Off-Broadway and Off-off-Broadway houses around town.

59E59 Theaters offer gently-priced and interesting theater in Bloomingdale country. Visit them at www.59E59.org to see what’s happening on their three stages.

The Pearl Theatre Company, after completing its third year uptown, is a resident acting company whose productions are varied and dynamic. Most of their repertory is classical, but they provide a fresh look at modern plays as well. As of the Fall of 2012, The Pearl has moved to its permanent home in the old Signature Theatre space at 555 West 42nd Street. Pricing at The Pearl is not budget-breaking and there are deals for discount Tuesdays and seniors at http://www.pearltheatre.org/ . As of the close of the 2016-17 season, we are sad to say, The Pearl is no longer able to continue dishing out delightful theater experiences.

Like the Pearl, The Mint Theater Company, until recently located on  W. 43rd Street, presents seldom produced plays from the modern and classic repertory. They have relocated to the Theatre Row space this past (2016-17) season. Their productions are well-priced and well-worth the price. Go to http://www.minttheater.org/ to find out more about this little theater in the heart of New York’s Theatre District.

In contrast to the revived repertory at The Mint, two subscription houses, Playwrights Horizons (on W 42nd Street) and Primary Stages (at 59E59 and now, 2015-onward, at the Cherry Lane) both dedicate themselves mostly to developing playwrights. They showcase new works in excellent productions. In fact in Spring 2013, the two have teamed up to co-produce a new play “The Call” by Tanya Barfield. To learn more about subscribing to Primary Stages, please visit www.primarystages.org . Playwrights Horizons, which has two stages– the smaller Peter Jay Sharp Theater and The Mainstage Theater– can be found at www.playwrightshorizons.org .

The brand new Signature Theatre Center has three stages, and commits to producing a playwright’s body of work over the course of a season. Lanford Wilson and August Wilson have each had their “Signature” years, for instance.   The theater is housed in a brand new Frank Gehry-designed building at The Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street. Signature’s $25 tickets are subsidized during the initial run. Once a show is extended, ticket prices go up to a still reasonable $75 per seat.

The LEED certified theater perched on the rooftop of the LCT’s Beaumont, the Claire Tow Theater remains one of the finest showcases in town. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful space with a balcony overlooking the Lincoln Center plaza, it is also a state of the art stage. $20 seats for the extremely small but seeming spacious house assure a crowd excited to see the new works of up and coming playwrights.

Downtown, there is plenty of off- and off-off- Broadway to be found. Among some we’ve scoped out are two reasonably priced and reliable sources of interesting work and excellent entertainment– The MCC Theatre and the New York Theatre Workshop. The latter has $20 Sunday evening performances. The former shows mostly new plays at relatively good prices and sometimes great discounts. Go to http://www.mcctheater.org/ and nytw.org for schedules and offerings.

Looking for the off-beat, the experimental, the cutting edge in theater? Let’s face it, as we’ve said before, in New York City it can be found off Broadway, (and off off, of course) all over the boroughs. We recommend among many  Project:Theater at the Drilling Company for some new and exciting works. (See www.projecttheater.org.) The New York Neo-Futurists, affectionately known as The Neos, have been performing the hit “Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind” for a long time. Go see it or look for their new works at www.nyneofuturists.org. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Company puts on some very dynamic new plays as well in a variety of venues downtown. Visit them at http://www.wegothere.org/.

This is not by any means an exhaustive list of what’s available, of course, but we hope it sends you off to adventures on the aisle of your own.

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