The term “immersive theater” has been thrown around so much in recent years that it has lost much of its meaning and purpose as a storytelling device. Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More is an example of doing it right, letting the audience explore the story as they please and have different experiences on each visit. Mamma Mia! The Party is tourist-friendly, and it’s more of an excuse for audiences to drink and dance to ABBA songs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Even the newest Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, which is already unconventional enough, is serving corn bread and chili at intermission.
Just as audiences are starting to get immersive theater fatigue, writer Matt Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker (Kapow-i GoGo, Puffs) come along with a premise that is insanely ambitious, technically challenging to say the least, and gobsmackingly brilliant. Their new play The Magnificent Revengers, which is currently playtesting at the People’s Improv Theater, is a choose-your-own-adventure revenge Western. Using their phones, the audience votes on a wide range of decisions, including whether to kill or spare an enemy, buy a boat, and which of your companions will get a pretty flower. Some of these decisions may seem minor, but there are always consequences down the road.
Aliens Coming, a new musical at the Peoples Improv Theater, is a comedic take on low-budget sci-fi movies with a blatant naughty streak. The plot is pulled from some of the best/worst episodes of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with some modern touches, and it centers on two teenage girls, Brandi and Clementine, who are about to graduate from high school. They have been best friends since they were kids, but Clementine’s interest in art (and the “cool art kids” culture) is pulling them in different directions. When Brandi is abducted, however, Clementine sets out to save Brandi and the world’s genitals from a prudish alien race. Along the way, Clementine finds herself and loses her virginity, and Brandi becomes a YouTube make-up tutorial star. Really, it’s a typical coming-of-age tale of friendship and following your dreams. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Praise Avril Lavigne! Pop Punk High – a musical tribute to pizza, skateboarding, Battle of the Bands, and parents who “just don’t get it” – is getting extended at the PIT Loft.
Pop Punk High opened March 3 at The PIT Loft, located at 154 West 29th Street. General admission tickets are $7 and are available for purchase in advance online here, and student tickets are $1 at the door with valid student ID.
January is possibly the dreariest month of the year. Christmas is over, the New Year has begun, and the first few weeks are full of overly optimistic and newly broken resolutions. However, there is one last chance to recapture that holiday cheer and warm, comforting nostalgia, and that is Recent Cutbacks’ KEVIN!!!!!, an on-stage shot-for-shot re-enactment of Home Alone.
Recent Cutbacks’ KEVIN!!!!! opened December 3 at The PIT, located at 123 E 24th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase in advance online here or by phone at 212-563-7488. Recent Cutbacks returns with its newest parody KEVIN!!!!!. This Christmas, Kevin is alone…at home. The team that brought…
For years, Amy Jo Jackson has been bringing commanding female characters to life, like Madame Blood in Kapow-i GoGo, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Ursula in The Little Mermaid. In her newest 54 Below show, however, she is owning her feminine power by singing songs traditionally performed by men. I am thrilled to…