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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RUN AND SEE: 3 Off-Broadway Shows for the Holidays!

Aside from being a season of joy and sparkly lights, winter is the time to catch all the shows you've missed throughout the year. Three of the best Off-Broadway shows I've seen this year are ending their runs soon, and if you're nearby, I urge you to catch them before they are gone.

1. PigPen Theatre Company's The Old Man and the Old Moon

Ok, y'all. I've got a new theater crush. This group of Carnegie Melon grads, known collectively as PigPen Theatre Company, burst onto the NY theater scene earlier this year with a charming tale of love and loss. Foregoing the flashy design elements often found further uptown, these seven guys create theater magic with flashlights and folk music. The story follows a man who gives up his job as keeper of the moon to chase his wandering wife across the ocean. The simple and creative design of the show lends itself to some fun and beautiful storytelling, including stunning shadow puppets and a delightful soundtrack (Their album Bremen, which includes songs from this and other shows they've written, has been on repeat on my iTunes for weeks, and is available here. Get it.).

Join them as they tell the tale of The Old Man and the Old Moon at The Gym at Judson now until January 6. (And if you were displaced by Hurricane Sandy, give them your zip code at the door for FREE tickets! Fortunately and unfortunately I was able to use the deal! Thanks, guys!)

And check out this beautiful video they created, which is how they first caught my attention:


2. Murder Ballad

Hot damn. This sexy rock-opera whodunnit features a kick-ass score and a cast of musical theater gods. In Manhattan Theatre Club's new Studio at Stage II, audience members line two walls, and a lucky few get to sit at tables in the middle of the room, while the 4-person cast sings the story of love and revenge all around them (and sometimes at and atop their tables). While this love triangle could be anyone's story (minus the murder part...), the music and design are so captivating that there's never a dull moment. They're only running until the end of the week (December 16 - Sorry for the late notice)! But if you can snag a ticket, do so now!


3. Tribes

I love me some Barrow Street Theatre and some David Cromer, so I couldn't wait to see this play. Having learned a bit of sign language earlier in the year, I was especially interested in seeing this show, which follows Billy, a deaf man whose family raised him to read lips in their hearing household, teaching him nothing of sign language and deaf culture. Believing that this would help him live a more "normal" life, they thought it was for the best, until he meets a woman who was raised by deaf parents and is slowly losing her hearing as well. As she introduces him to deaf culture, his family's plan backfires and he finds their choice unforgivable. Maybe I'm new to the game, but this is the first play I am aware of that deals with this issue, and I found it a fascinating argument presented in a very moving way. The audience is transported into Billy's world in some clever ways that really open your eyes to what it would be like to be deaf in a hearing household, and the struggles that present themselves when you don't know where you belong.

It just extended for two more weeks, and is now running until January 20. Don't miss it!

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