The Flea Theater exalts off-off-Broadway experimentation by producing original and new works from emerging and established playwrights while hosting series, festivals and programs for artists throughout the year. Over the past 15 years, eyes have widened at works by established playwright and screenwriter Adam Rapp and edgy performances from Marisa Tomei, while others have tracked the skyrocketing success of choreographer Sarah East Johnson and other toddling innovators. A 40-seat black box and a 74-seat flexible theater house up to four events and one séance daily on The Flea's packed schedule, which adds to visiting performances with a rotating constellation of rising stars from resident company The Bats, Hollywood and Broadway legends like Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth, and Andre DeShields, as well as music and dance powerhouses like Kathleen Supove and Nina Winthrop. This season, The NY Goofs conduct a workshop and perform the eight-stooge riot Water For Clowns (August 4–14) in August, a remount of the Obie Award–winning political comedy Invasion! lands in September and stays until the audience surrenders, and in November, She Kills Monsters arrives, directed by the co-artistic directors of Brooklyn's Vampire Cowboys Theater Company.
If your name were Aristotle, it would be hard not to be profound. Aristotle "Telly" Savalas––the actor who exuded '70s masculinity as TV cop Kojak––proves not to be an exception. The smirking, self-aware alpha male swaggers on stage to piano accompaniment in Who Loves You, Baby?, a retro lounge comedy show where Tom DiMenna embodies Telly's persona––complete with a bald cap, a holster, and a butterfly-collared shirt tucked into a leisure suit.
Literally Alive ferries timeless children's tales from the page to stage, entertaining little ones while simultaneously fostering their love for literature. During six musically driven performances of Alice in Wonderland, a live percussion trio and children's chorus join forces with an all-adult cast to hatch Lewis Carroll's splashy, whimsical spectacle, which arrives at ocular and aural doorsteps wrapped in a colorful blend of singing and dancing. From the theater's tiered seating setup, fans of all ages somersault down the rabbit hole alongside Alice, forging cautiously into a fantastical cosmos that bursts with anthropomorphic characters and stunning scenery over 60 minutes. Prior to each performance, attendees can also drop into an interactive one-hour workshop, where the show's cast discusses the story's themes before guests craft special art projects to take home as souvenirs or use to lure pet mock turtles out of their shells.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers explode with ramshackle percussion, frenetic footwork, and musically inspired jokery amidst myriad trademark juggling routines. The daffiness is dashed with danger as the kilt-sporting Brothers juggle an arsenal of hazardous objects in their signature act, "The Terror," while an element of impromptu excellence enters during "The Gamble," an act that involves the juggling of personal items procured from the obliging, applauding audience.
Horse Trade is a self-sustaining theater development group; with a focus on new work. It has produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater. Horse Trade’s Resident Artist Program offers a home to a select group of Independent Theater artists, pooling together a great deal of talent and energy.
Abbey Theatre veteran Ray Yeates takes audiences on a guided tour of the Irish émigré’s psyche with an uplifting one-man performance set amid the Irish economy's stunning collapse. In this standalone sequel to his internationally produced In High Germany, acclaimed playwright Dermot Bolger reconnects audiences with Eoin, an expat back in the country of his birth after an extended stay in Germany. Armed with no more than his sharp wits and the stitching on his polo shirt, Ray Yeates convincingly transforms the intimate West Village stage into Dublin Airport for a riveting 75-minute performance. Making use of airports’ birthday-clown-like tendency to evoke existential dread, the play extracts an uplifting story of friendship and family from the midst of a late-night boarding area.