Beyond Broadway

Your Summer Guide to Surviving a Fascist Future, Finding Magic in Midtown, and BDSM

07.12.19

BY: LIZ DURAND STREISAND / ILLUSTRATION BY: SAMIA FAKIH

New York City isn’t built for comfort. It’s built for excitement and surprise and pushing the boundaries. But even as New Yorkers, it’s all too easy to fall into a Netflix and chill routine — which is a shame since you can do that just about anywhere. This summer, we challenge you to embrace the unknown. So Broadway Spin has rounded up some of the best boundary-pushing shows Beyond Broadway that will help you justify your rent.

Photo: Instagram, @oscaratthecrown.

Photo: Instagram, @oscaratthecrown.

Oscar at the Crown

Didn’t quite make it through The Importance of Being Earnest back in high school? Head to Brooklyn’s 3 Dollar Bill for a peek into a secret bunker in the not-too-distant future. Turns out all that survived the political apocalypse were sequins, reality TV, and the complete works of Oscar Wilde. Oscar at the Crown falls somewhere between an immersive theater experience and, well, a rave. And once you go, you might never come back.

Photo: Instagram, @saysomethingbunny.

Say Something Bunny

Part detective story, part tragicomedy, Say Something Bunny is an interactive (but not participatory) theater experience based on a wire recording of a man named David and his family hanging out in their Long Island living room roughly 60 years ago. Interdisciplinary artist Alison S.M. Kobayashi discovered this bizarre time capsule back in 2011 and proceeded to research every single part of the recorded conversation. The result is this show. A max of 24 people are allowed in for each performance in the UNDO Project Space in Chelsea. To tell you more would ruin it.

Photo: Instagram, @neversleepalone.

Never Sleep Alone

Only sit in the front if you are willing to come on stage and kiss strangers! That’s the first line of the show’s online description, which shold give you a pretty good sense of what we’re dealing with here. A mainstay at Joe’s Pub downtown, Never Sleep Alone (based on the book of the same name) is a highly interactive show led by bestselling author Dr. Alex Schiller that comes packed with advice about fulfilling your socio-sexual potential. All we have to say here is, you’re welcome.

Photo: Instagram, @blankthemusical.

Blank! The Musical

Don’t feel like playing tonsil hockey with strangers? How about watching a bunch of strangers create a brand-new hit musical… with your help? Blank! The Musical lets you do just that. Each night a talented ensemble takes to the stage — currently that stage is at The Green Room 42, a hidden gem inside Yotal on 10th Ave. — with no script, no rehearsal, and no plan. That’s where you come in. Better yet, The Green Room 42 serves food and drinks, but there’s no minimum. It’s a whole new world out there, folks.

Photo: Instagram, @safewordtheplay.

Safeword

The headline here is this is a play about BDSM culture and what it would be like to have a professional dom living in the apartment right above you (well, kinda). Penned by S. Asher Gelman, of Afterglow fame, Safeword focuses on two interracial couples who live in the same New York City apartment building. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of bondage happening. The one-act play takes place at the American Theater of Actors in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, so you officially have no excuse not to go.

Photo: Instagram, @magicafterhours.

Magic After Hours

ICYMI magic is hot right now, and this magic show takes it to another level — the 6th floor or a rather unimpressive looking office building in Herald Square. It turns out that’s the home of Louis Tannen’s, the oldest magic shop in New York City (who knew?!). Magic After Hours is one part magic show and one part history lesson, as professional magician Noah Levine performs a mix of tricks and shares historical anecdotes while the audience enjoys drinks. Oh yeah, drinks are served at this one too. We’re feeling the magic already.

Photo: Instagram, @thenshefell.

Then She Fell

If you loved Sleep No More, Then She Feel needs to be on your to-do list. Located inside the Kingsland Ward at St. John’s, a century-old institutional facility, this immersive multi-sensory experience allows audience members to explore a sinister Wonderland. Only 15 people are admitted per night, making this a distinctly intimate event where you get up close and personal with the dark side of the life and writings of Lewis Carroll. Discover hidden scenes, encounter performers one-on-one, and enjoy drinks by one of the city’s top mixologists.

A version of this story first appeared in W42St magazine. Sign up for their weekly newsletter here! These and other shows are in play on Beyond Broadway.