Julia #OFFSCENE about: What else is out there?

OPERAS

No, you don’t have to wear dress pants and a tux (unless you want to). There is no dress code. There’s no opera fashion police on the lookout for people wearing Jordans and a crop top. You might get some looks, but who cares?!

Operas are basically musicals except everything is completely sung, there’s barely any dialogue. Most of the time it's in a foreign language, but in those cases, there are screens on the seat in front of you with subtitles.

Lots of people who aren’t major classical freaks enjoy the opera. And we even have some operas listed where you can get a huge discount!

Improv shows

These shows are completely made up on the spot and, if you’re lucky (or unlucky if you hate attention), you can be part of the show!

For example, I went to Blank! The Musical and the cast asked the audience for phrases and words to riff off of. They knew techniques to create a good song in the moment, and how to transition from scene to scene, even when it was convoluted. Usually, improv shows are performed in very loose spaces where you can get yourself a lil' drink!

Escape Rooms

Although technically there isn’t any “acting” involved, this is where you can pretend to be part of a story!

There are lots of different escape room scenarios, like helping out Sherlock Holmes with a case, or breaking into a suspected serial killer’s house, or even trying to stop a bomb from going off. 💣

You usually have an hour to try to escape by looking for clues or trying to solve puzzles or riddles. Be sure to get a picture taken, ya know, for the 'gram.

I’ve been to two escape rooms and, from my experience, it can be quite a challenge. I didn’t “escape” from the first one cause I was with my friend’s parents and their friends, so it was a bit hard to communicate efficiently. The other time was on my birthday with my friends and family, and everyone brought something different to the table. There was some math question only my friend Diana could figure out, and when she did we all just stood in awe. Math, huh! When we finally escaped I was so excited that, when I went to open the door, I shrieked in the hostess’ face and she shrieked back. LOL.

Also, check out Gemma’s post on her Paradiso adventure!

MUSEUMS

They’re not all fancy art and sculptures. Some museums incorporate theatrical elements into select exhibits, like an actor pretending to be someone from the era, or even an “expert” on the subject.

Some museums offer immersive experiences. The Spy Museum, for example, allows you to be a spy by answering some questions, playing games and solving puzzles, and even doing some physical activities. Everything is tracked by a special bracelet you wear and, at the end, you learn what type of spy you are. Other museums have little shows that try to familiarize you with the subject they are presenting. It can be live or a prerecorded.

IMMERSIVE THEATRE

Don’t expect to sit back and relax—you are going to be part of the play. The audience is an integral part of immersive productions. Actors may interact with you, or maybe you wander around the premises to see what else is happening. Just don’t touch any performers if they don’t initiate anything!

Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel (which is not a hotel) is a prime example of immersive theater.

CABARET

This is where music is the main course and storytelling is the appetizer. OMFG, that was so cheesy, sorry.

You go because you mainly wanna hear some tunes, but with a little something extra. You can also eat if you want. Feinstein's/54 Below, Green Room 42 and Joe’s Pub are three popular cabarets. You can expect to see some Broadway stars at all of them. Sometimes you can even catch Broadway cast reunions.

DRAG SHOWS

These are a fun way to explore the LGBTQ+ world. A lot of times it’s quite like a cabaret, so you can eat while you watch. Even if you aren’t into drag, you have to admit it’s very theatrical! They portray a character, and they usually sing and/or dance, too. These artists take a lot of time to plan these performances and create the costumes and make-up.

If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, check out Polish the Queen at The Stonewall Inn, a live weekly drag competition.

If you want some Broadway sprinkled into your drag, The Panties in a Brunch at Bizarre Bushwick and Drag Brunch at Lips NYC are well-known offerings.