When struggling actors and actresses try to make it big, where do they go? New York City. The talent pool is enormous, which means the best entertainment in the country is performed right here, in what many consider to be the art mecca of the world. Whether you’re visiting New York for just a weekend or a whole week, make sure you get a ticket for at least one of these events in NYC.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
This underground show from the Neo-Futurists is about as alternative as it gets. Their attempt to perform 30 two-minute plays in 60 minutes is an energetic race against the clock. Each short play is scripted personally by a different member of the team, meaning sometimes you get hilarious anecdotes and other weeks you’ll hear about real life tragedies that bring you to tears. Your tears, however, only last for two minutes because there are 29 more shows to do and just 58 minutes in which to do them. After just a few, you know this is Big Apple entertainment at its finest.
Upright Citizens Brigade
The Upright Citizens Brigade is a sketch comedy group from the 90s that produced a television show of the same name. The dampness of the theater reminds you of a musty, flooded basement, but that’s all a part of its charm. With two locations in the East Village and Chelsea, you watch some of the world’s most talented comedians duke it out in a night of random improv. You leave in stitches (and maybe a bit confused). This is one of those classic comedy events in NYC you can’t wait to Tweet about after.
Short for “Songs From a Room,” Sofar Sounds is an organization that mobilizes intimate music gigs. Have you ever been to a concert or coffee shop where nobody paid attention to the music? Sofar aims to combat this very problem by hosting underground performances in living rooms, coworking spaces, recording studios, and more. To get in, since tickets are limited, you sign up for the newsletter and RSVP online before you arrived. Once in, you grab a beer at the makeshift bar before sitting on a cushion on the floor. As you enjoy the atmosphere, you watch a talented musician pour out her heart and soul just a few feet in front of you.
Batsu! at JeBon Sushi
If you want real entertainment from your events in NYC, Batsu! is the only word you need to know. You remember watching clips of crazy Japanese game shows on YouTube—that’s exactly what this is, but performed in the accessible JeBon Sushi in the East Village. The performers are asked to improvise a scenario, and when one of them slips up, it’s batsu time (the Japanese word for “punishment”). Usually the punishment comes in the form of humiliation, and you laugh gleefully at their demise and discomfort. You even get called up onto stage to participate!
Summer Movies in Bryant Park
Every year, from June until August, HBO runs Summer Film Festival in Bryant Park. On Monday evenings, you and a crowd of friends gather for showings of classic movies. You bring a few blankets and a picnic basket and curl up with your partner in the grass. During the boring parts, you watch the sun set over one of New York’s best parks. Your date forgot food, but that’s OK. You see food stalls nearby, ready with all your movie snack needs.