Your Personal Concierge
Top Picks for Off-Broadway Shows
A major draw for both visitors and locals to New York City is the allure of the bright lights of Broadway, but don’t be mistaken: The term “on Broadway” refers to the number of seats in a theater (500-plus), not its location. An Off-Broadway theater, which normally seats 100 to 499 people, is a smaller venue where theatergoers can still see some of New York City’s most spectacular—and often quirky—shows. “One of my all-time favorite off-Broadway shows is Avenue Q,” says Eric Strauss, concierge at The Bryant Park Hotel. Avenue Q, currently playing at New World Stages, is best described as “Sesame Street for adults.” The slightly risqué musical centers around a puppet named Princeton, a recent college graduate going through the trials and tribulations of adjusting to adult life. “The show deals with current events and real life issues set to a comedic score,” Strauss says, adding, “Who doesn’t love a puppet talking about sex, drugs and relationship woes?” For an acrobatic, non-traditional night at the theater, Fuerza Bruta is playing at The Daryl Roth Theatre. “This avant-garde production is truly spectacular,” Strauss says. The theater, housed in a former bank, is a warehouse-esque, seatless venue. “I like this set up because there is no front or back of the theatre,” Strauss continues, “the performance happens all around you.” The audience can expect performers to walk on a large conveyor belt, run circles around an aerial track and glide in a transparent pool of water. And, the show is set to the beats of a live DJ performance. Strauss advises theatergoers to “come ready to move, dance and have fun.” The show concludes with a water feature, so “you might want to bring an extra shirt if you plan to get wet!” Old Jews Telling Jokes, performing at the Westside Theatre, is an offbeat comedy based on the widely popular web series of the same name. The show features a cast of five actors telling funny jokes and singing silly songs about everything from the classic Jewish Mother jokes to shticks about Jewish dating and relationships. “I myself loved every minute,” Strauss says.