Last list I promised to keep you out of Midtown and I’ve followed through with that, AND two of the shows – The Skin of Our Teeth and Epherma Trilogy offer up a sweet discount if you’ve got a student ID. If you’re looking for some original and experimental theatre this weekend, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re starting off in Brooklyn with a new adaptation of The Skin of Our Teeth, a comedy by Thornton Wilder (of high-school theatre classic Our Town fame) at the Theatre For A New Audience. If you’re familiar at all with Our Town, you’ll recognize similar elements in Teeth. Actors and narrators break the fourth wall several times during the performance. The show, about an ages-old family surviving multiple apocalypses, features a company of THIRTY-FIVE people. Among them are Kecia Lewis, broadway veteran of Chicago, Big River, and Dreamgirls; and Eric Farber, whose work on Good Person of Szechwan was nominated for the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music in a Play. The Skin of Our Teeth is presented in three acts, each featuring a different catastrophe, on an ominous-looking set featuring a stormy-sky backdrop. Teeth pulls together several time periods – the show begins during an Ice Age in suburban New Jersey, continues with a Noah’s Ark style flood and rescue out of Atlantic City, and ends after a catastrophic war. Tickets are priced up to $95, but people under the age of 30, and students of any age, can get tickets for $20 with proof of age or a student ID. The Theatre for a New Audience is housed in the Polonsky Shakespeare Center at 262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, and The Skin of Our Teeth is running until March 19. If you attend the Saturday matinee on March 18, you can stay for a post-show chat with the artists behind the show.
This is the third week of the world premiere of the new musical The Outer Space at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre. The Pub is a gorgeous cabaret venue that’s part of the Public Theatre (the birthplace of the musicals Fun Home and Hamilton.) The Outer Space is the story of a couple who purchase an old spaceship, and their struggle as they relocate from a damaged Earth to a colony near Mercury. There’s no formal staging – playwright and musician Ethan Lipton and his 3-man orchestra play and sing while narrating the couple’s struggles. Lipton’s music is folky and smart, featuring guitar, standup bass and saxophone, played by Eben Levy, Ian Riggs, and Vito Dieterle respectively.
The Outer Space is directed by the Tony-nominated Leigh Silverman – she also directed Lipton’s Obie-award winning musical No Place to Go in 2014. Keep in mind that Joe’s Pub isn’t a traditional proscenium stage, and you may be seated at a table, counter or bar – you’ll choose when you buy your tickets. Get them here for $45. Joe’s Pub is located at the Public Theatre, at 425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th and Astor Place.
If you want to take a walk for dessert afterwards, head to 8th Avenue between Jane and West 4th streets to Aux Merveilleux de Fred, a fancy-looking French bakery that serves AMAZING fresh sugar brioche. If your timing is right you might catch it straight out of the oven and it is beyond.
Next to last we have The Epherma Trilogy, an experimental show at The Paradise Factory. Kimi Maeda uses shadow, sand art and puppets to explore her family’s history – a story told in three parts, the first two focusing on her mother’s journey to the United States, the final one on her father’s time in a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II. Throughout, Maeda speaks about her experience growing up in a Japanese family in the United States. Maeda is an artist and puppeteer based in South Carolina, and a co-founder of Belle et Bete, a puppeteering theatre. You can find examples of her stunning work in set design and puppeteering online. I’ve not seen it but the samples of the show are giving me serious Kiss and Cry vibes. Her work online is gorgeous, and the subject matter is both personal and impactful, as Maeda and her parents’ stories are perhaps even more important to hear today. You can get student tickets for $15 or general admission tickets for $20 here, and you can find Paradise Factory at 64 East 4th Street, between Bowery and 2nd Ave.