Stages throughout New York City are brimming with entertainment — but when you’ve seen the main shows, where do you go to move beyond Broadway? From a unique venue at the edge of the East River in Brooklyn to a historic theater on a charming Greenwich Village street, New York City is full of theater, dance and music beyond the Midtown’s legendary Theater District. Here are some of our favorites:
This cultural icon is a classical music venue set in an unlikely destination — on a converted coffee barge moored in the East River. Music enthusiasts travel to the Fulton Ferry Landing beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to hear an ever-changing array of talent perform in an intimate space. Upcoming concerts include the Masterworks Series with music from greats such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, and the Here and Now Series, which celebrates contemporary work. Performances are mostly scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of June.
One of the most vibrant and diverse cultural institutions in New York is the 92nd Street Y, located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. The event calendar here is full seven days a week of literary readings, dance performances, concerts, lectures, film screenings and more. Upcoming highlights include the Young People’s Chorus of New York City’s Spring Celebration (June 7) and an ongoing Q&A series with stars of sports (Mariano Rivera, May 20), music (Debbie Harry, May 28) and Hollywood (Sarah Jessica Parker, May 15). There are also many opportunities to join in — you can sign up for an Argentine Tango class and then stay after the lesson to practice your new skills.
Since 1988, this Off-Broadway theater has been supporting the work of Irish and Irish-American playwrights. Located in Chelsea, one of Manhattan’s most artistic neighborhoods, this theater features both new productions and classic plays. The calendar includes The Spectacular Songs of Lerner & Loewe (June 9). The one-night engagement spotlights the beloved Broadway selections from productions such as Camelot, Paint Your Wagon and My Fair Lady.
A great Off-Broadway tradition exists in New York, and continues today on the stages of smaller theaters. One of the most charming is the Barrow Street Theatre, tucked into a tiny Greenwich Village street. A comedy called Buyer and Cellar is currently taking the stage, exploring the price of fame through humor. In the show, a Los Angeles actor goes to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement. As a bonus, in this part of Manhattan you will be surrounded by some of New York’s best restaurants for a pre- or post-theater bite (try Palma for classic Italian fare).
You might not expect a place with an unassuming name like Joe’s Pub to be one of the most celebrated music stages in lower Manhattan — but that’s what you will find here. More than 800 shows — including cabaret, dance, jazz, singer-songwriters and more — impress audiences every year. A mix of established performers and up-and-coming entertainers fill the calendar here. Upcoming shows include Rickie Lee Jones on May 23 and Eric Zoller and the O, Pioneer Band on May 25, among many others. A tempting menu with dishes such as grilled branzino with French lentils and parsnip from acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini (along with fine cocktails such as The Honey Pot with Old Overholt rye whiskey, honey syrup, yellow chartreuse and lemon) accompanies the entertainment in this intimate space.
Photos Courtesy of iStock-Zakai and Irish Repertory Theatre