To all cultured fashionistas, Thespians, future ushers, and theater lovers, Happy New Year! Cynthia Rose here with the first major festival of 2014. The Public Theater just announced Under the Radar, a festival featuring new, independent, and experimental theater brought to you from artists across the globe. Tickets are only $20 and performances run from January 6th to January 19th.
Under the Radar is currently in its 10thyear and is designed to expose emerging and master artists to a wide audience. The festival gives participants a crash course in theater, while spectators are treated to an international artistic feast: works from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, all from the comfort of NYC. Festival locations include the Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, La MaMA in the East Village, and the Japan Society in the Upper East Side. (All locations are MTA accessible or you can cab it, if you’re feeling fancy)
There a performances for every type of artist. The music of Toshi Reagon and BIGLovley will be celebrated through Sacred Stories; the work of poet Sekou Sundiata is re-imagined through Blessing the Boats; and Britain’s Kate Tempest combines poetry, theater, and music through Brand New Ancients. Tickets are only $20 but if you’re an aficionado with coins to burn, you can buy the $75 UTR Pack which includes tickets to five performances.
While I love Broadway, this festival is a nice alternative. The performances are out of the box and it’s a nice way to feel like you’re living on the edge. It’s also a great conversation starter for a floundering happy hour or art show. In addition, the festival includes free talks about the playwright process and a dance party from awesome DJ’s and musicians every night at 11 pm.
Be advised: This is no Lion King and art is subjective. There’s a 20% chance that you will leave a performance bewildered and/or suspicious of your fellow-man.
I vote go for it. Where else are you going to see a monologue from Belgium? Go for the art and dance afterward . . . . .