Must-See East Village
by Julie Besonen, 02/08/2012
Bowery Poetry Club. Photo: Alexander Thompson
Off-Broadway and Offbeat
The original productions at New York Theatre Workshop make for a provocative evening. Stories unfold in an intimate setting, where playwrights like Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill and Paul Rudnick have debuted new works, some of which moved on to Broadway. Perhaps you've heard of a little show called Rent? It premiered here in 1996. At New York Theatre Workshop, both undiscovered and Tony Award–winning actors like to stretch their muscles in challenging roles. Bowery Poetry Club also provides a home for experimental theater, but the full bar keeps things from getting too serious. Depending on the night of the week, comedy, variety shows, burlesque, live music or poetry slams might command the stage. Avant-garde music fans will find nirvana at The Stone, a small club where 100% of the proceeds go to the artists. The founder, maverick musician John Zorn, is determined to keep the focus on the performers, refusing to sell refreshments or merchandise. To pay the rent, a marathon music party is held every month where donations are accepted.