Let’s be honest, Broadway gets old. Okay don’t get me wrong, we all love the classics, the excitement of seeing a Broadway show, the renowned singers, famous directors, dazzling, awe inspiring performances, voices you could never imagine to be true, just a sheer display of talent. There’s so much GOOD to Broadway. But just because there’s a lot of positives doesn’t mean we should turn our heads to the negatives.
Broadway is expensive. You can have a real love for the arts but not have much access to them because of ridiculously high prices. It’s touristy, a big to do. For a lot of shows it’s a more traditional environment, you must be quiet, can’t talk to the friends you came with without getting a dirty look from the uptight older couple sitting in front of you. If you are thirsty you have to pay about 8 dollars for a coke. LIKE C’MON Broadway can you just cut us a break! We’re just some people on a budget trying to immerse ourselves in the arts and theatrical performances.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an alternative to all of this? A way to still be blown away without dishing out a few hundred for a ticket. Well guess what. (I’m sure you knew this part was coming) There is! The Public Theater!
This much more laid back, intuitive version of Broadway is just as entertaining for half the hassle, and half the price. A part of their mission is to “advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force”. They understand how important it is, they get it! They make theater more accessible. Tickets can go for prices as low as twenty dollars for members. And these are no rinky-dink performances. The shows put on include former Broadway actors and actresses, known stars, and the newest and oldest virtuosos involved in theater production.
The Public Theater is home to five theaters and a bar/restaurant Joe’s Pub. The Public Theater also puts on free productions of Shakespeare in the Park. That’s how much they want to bring the arts to you! They made it free! This production is made by “removing plays from traditional performing venues and adapting them for public places of our urban community”. It is often held in Delacorte theater in Central Park as well as a traveling mobile unit to bring Shakespeare to all parts of NYC!
My first experience with the Public Theater was to watch the special performance Presidents’ Day Be-In: A night of Peace, Love, & Revolution. Held in Joe’s Pub, the HAIR Tribe (members from the Broadway show HAIR), sang classics and original protest songs, and explored our country’s current controversies and issues. The show raised money for Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign. The theater is often involved in charity events, which makes them an even greater hit.
For more information and current shows go to : www.publictheater.org/