WCBS 880′s Jim Taylor shares his thoughts on Broadway and the 2011 Tony Awards. He will be blogging about his picks and predictions on the nominees up until the awards on June 12.

With Tony nomination week behind us, let’s take a little break from the glare (and expense) of Broadway. Because there’s plenty of good theatre to be experienced off-Broadway, as well. And the drinks are cheaper, too.

Ars Nova

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(credit: Ben Arons/Theater Mania)

Ars Nova constantly features challenging drama that ranges from off-the-wall to in-your-face. Right now, in its very intimate setting at 54th and 10th Ave, is Be a Good Little Widow. The story about unexpected loss is endearing in an off-kilter way. Wonderfully acted by a tight little ensemble that includes Jill Eikenberry (Remember LA Law? She hasn’t changed). It’s there for another week.

59th East 59th

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(credit: 59th E. 59th)

Only open for another couple of shows: Love Song at 59 East 59th. Another very well-acted, engaging tale of family love, I should have caught the clever conceit earlier than I did. At the same venue, just now opening for a brief engagement is City Love Song, A one-man show that conjures up thoughts of Spalding Gray and Jack Kerouac. The show takes us across the country, soaking up the ambiance of towns as far flung as Fargo, North Dakota, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, San Francisco and New York. Jack Finnegan’s poetic American travelogue is sweet and cool. 59 East 59th is one of my favorite places to hang before or after a show. It’s not uncommon following a performance for the actors and even the playwright to interact with the audience in the well-stocked bar – quite convivial.

The Barrow Street Theatre

my girlfriends boyfreind barrowstreettheatre com Broadway Buzz: Off Broadway Gems

(credit: barrowstreettheatre.com)

Then there’s the really killer one-person off-Broadway show of the season: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. Mike Birbiglia’s show is as funny as its name. His self-deprecating observations of love and life leave the Barrow Street Theatre audience laughing and crying for more. It’s quite frequently sold out , but it’s around longer than the others mentioned here. What are you doing next month?


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