When the weather outside is frightful, as it often is when the harsh New York winter slowly inches toward spring, there’s a certain pleasure in staying put. After all, there are few places as cozy as the SoHo apartments for sale at 70 Charlton, where your view of sideways sleet pelting the city may be enough of a show to keep you indoors. But if you’re ready to conquer your cabin fever and get out on the town, we recommend a brisk walk to the SoHo Playhouse. There, you’ll be treated to some of the most immersive, thought-provoking off-Broadway shows in the city. So, whether the night calls for a riotous laugh or a heart-wrenching story, call some friends and head to the theater; two of the season’s most critically acclaimed productions are showing now.
Bright Colors and Bold Patterns | Drew Droege (Writer) & Michael Urie (Director)
Set in Palm Springs the night before a wedding, this play feels like a little vacation. There are floral shirts, tropical drinks, and paper umbrellas galore; enough to whisk you away to a warmer locale, if just for 80 minutes. Show up a little early for the margaritas, which add to the immersive experience. The one-man show stars Gerry, played by the extremely amusing Jeff Hiller, who proceeds to talk his friends’ ears off. Described by The New York Times as a character with “acerbic wit,” Gerry spends much of the play complaining, in hilarious fashion, about a line in the wedding invitation prohibiting guests from wearing “bright colors and bold patterns.” The play isn’t all lightning-fast banter and gossip-laden storytelling, though there is much of this. There are also moments of heartfelt sincerity: glimpses into the struggles of an imperfect man. Gerry is a complex character, and towards the end, he lets down his frenetic facade, revealing anxieties that many in the audience will probably relate to, in one form or another. Showtimes can be found here.
Nanette | Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby has spent the last ten years making a name for herself in the stand-up comedy world. Her unique brand of deadpan, snide wit has gained quite a following, but now, she’s bidding that world farewell. Nanette, her one-woman show, is marked by dogged honesty. It’s Gadsby’s own life story, told with unflinching candor—and it’s quite a story. Growing up gay in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until the late nineties, she was often subject to abuse and violence. Her story is rife with struggle, but rather than diffuse the tension that builds with such difficult subject matter, she explores it. Of course, Gadsby is still a comedian at heart, and there are moments when her snarky, self-deprecating humor seeps through, offering moments of levity. The result is something new and refreshing; a comedy that moves beyond humor and into the deeply personal. Be sure to make time for drinks after the show because Nanette is sure to fuel an interesting conversation. Showtimes can be found here.