Explore the smaller stages of NYC before Off-Broadway week comes to an end

Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Explore the smaller stages before Off-Broadway week comes to an end
Off-Broadway Week in New York City offers two-for-one tickets to more than 30 shows like 'Anne Being Frank' and 'Bettinger's Luggage.' Sandy Kenyon has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- NYC Off-Broadway Week ends this Sunday, but there is still plenty of time to take advantage of the two-for-one promotion at theaters.

Tickets are already much cheaper than for the big, hit shows in the Theater District, and this week you can buy one ticket and get the second one for free at more than 30 off-Broadway productions.

"I think it's more needed than ever. I think off-Broadway, small houses like this are really needed. It's where people tell true stories, and especially for New Yorkers, we need to hear that," said Richard MacDonald of "Bettinger's Luggage."

One such story being told off-Broadway in the Flatiron District is "Anne Being Frank." Alexis Fishman, the star of the solo show, asks the audience to consider what Anne Frank would have written in her diary if she could still have been able to write in the concentration camp where she died.

"It's a play that forces people to confront human nature: good and evil, innocence, hope, optimism, pessimism, all of those things," said Fishman.

Many people believe there are benefits to seeing a production that is off-Broadway. For example, sitting close to the actors makes for a more intimate experience at the theater. Plus, the smaller audience allows the creators more freedom.

"You get to take more risks off-Broadway," said Paul Adams, the artistic director of Emerging Artists Theatre Company. "You can do edgier things because you're not trying to live up to a commercial type of production."

The cost of mounting a show in a small theater is only a fraction of the millions of dollars required to open a Broadway play.

"The people who really love theater are always looking to see what's new, what's brand new, what new ideas are coming out. You can't find that at Broadway because it's too expensive to produce a risky show on Broadway," said Al Tapper of AMT Theater.

Tapper, who built AMT theater, also wrote the play that is being staged in it. "Bettinger's Luggage" recreates the turbulent city of the 1970s on a quiet street several blocks west of Broadway.

He saw an opportunity when theaters, on and off-Broadway, were forced to close during the pandemic so his AMT Theater was ready to go when performances resumed.

"Anne Being Frank" and "Bettinger's Luggage" are very different works, and just two examples of the adventurous spirit you will find at smaller stages around the city.

ALSO READ | Animal Care Centers closed to dog surrenders due to critical capacity

Centers remain open for adoptions and will resume taking in dogs as soon as space opens up.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.