Spectacular Solo Shows

Show-Score

One person. One stage. One night of unforgettable theater. 

It takes a seriously talented performer to captivate an entire audience without any costars. All of these shows have incredible actors at their center, plus engaging stories—some hilarious, others historic, and a few heartbreaking. So spend the night one-on-one at these solo outings.

91
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Walter DeForest's interactive solo show about legendary artist Vincent van Gogh includes art-making experiences for the audience.

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DeForest blends storytelling, theater, and live art creation in this engaging portrait of the artist. Think you know the truth? 'Van Gogh Find Yourself' please.


Legendary Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen comes to Broadway in a new autobiographical solo show.

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At 960 seats, the Walter Kerr Theatre is one of the smallest venues Springsteen has played in the last 40 years. Join the iconic musical storyteller in this intimate environment for his new piece, a part-spoken, part-sung performance that loosely follows the arc of his life and work.


88
Avg Score

UnionDocs presents Alison S.M. Kobayashi's multi-media solo piece inspired by an amateur audio recording made over 60 years ago.

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The origin of this audio was a mystery. Two spools of thin steel wire were found tucked inside an obsolete sound device purchased by a collector at an estate sale. There were no labels; no dates, no names, and no context. Through her obsessive research and active imagination, Kobayashi decodes the rich dialogue in the recording and discovers the detailed history of a Jewish family from New York that bursts with humor, surprise, and drama. The one-woman show annotates, illustrates, and reconstructs the scenes of the recording, while revealing the stranger-than-fiction biography of the eldest son, David, who made the wire recordings. Using video, installation, performance and plentiful archival material, Kobayashi leads the audience through a close listening of this multigenerational tale.


88
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Co-writer and performer Steven Prescod plays 32 different characters in this solo performance which tells the story of his coming of age in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York by single mother, Steven's story is a tale of love, family, the streets, gang violence, and self-acceptance. Through  the CityKids Foundation, an excerpt of the show was performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which led to a production at the National Black Theatre and a tour of school performances. It is now the inaugural production of a new theatre, The East Village Playhouse.


85
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On the heels of a sold out, twice-extended world premiere produced by Vineyard Theatre, Tony winner Billy Crudup returns to this one-man, comic thriller about a shy midwestern man leading an outrageous double life.

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Moving to New York City and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family’s life as the seductive and precocious Harry, whose increasingly risky and dangerous behavior threatens to undo more than his persona.


After a successful run at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Baba Brinkman brings his latest hip-hop comedy to the SoHo Playhouse. In it, he shines a light on free will, brain cells, and the science of consciousness.

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With subjects ranging from religion to climate change, Baba combines the intimacy of a one-man show with the humor, wit, and excitement of a rap concert to create an experience that defies genre classifications.

84
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From the team behind 'David Carl's Celebrity One-Man Hamlet' comes this new Shakespeare-inspired solo show, with Carl forced to play Drumpf as King Lear—for Drumpf himself!

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Actor and impersonator David Carl is being held without bail for performing his Trumpian version of 'King Lear.' Now he's forced to do his 'Lear' as the President watches remotely online. The stakes are high: If Drumpf likes Carl and his show, Carl lives. If not, Carl dies. But how can Carl get through this performance without offending his one audience member?


83
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The Daryl Roth Theatre presents the New York premiere of this performance piece by magician Derek DelGaudio, directed by Emmy winner Frank Oz.

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In 'In & of Itself,' DelGaudio examines the illusion of identity. New ways of seeing the unseeable are explored, as memories from yesterday, inexplicable events witnessed today, and secrets imagined for tomorrow all blend together, creating a perpetual paradox of a show.


82
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Primary Stages presents Sharon Washington's autobiographical solo piece, in which she revisits her time growing up in an apartment on the top floor inside the St. Agnes Branch of the New York Public Library.

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Sharon's father served as the library's custodian. Shrouded in family mystery, Sharon’s story boldly examines how both the power of forgiveness and her lifelong love for the written word have helped her battle dragons of all forms.


79
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They say that laughter is the best medicine, but for one comedian suffering from OCD, it just might be psychedelic mushrooms. After an extended run in San Francisco, the solo show returns to NYC.

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Inspired by a scientific study claiming that hallucinogenic mushrooms can potentially cure obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam Strauss embarked on a program of vigilante psychopharmacology. His relentless pursuit of this unorthodox cure takes him on many adventures. He uncovers an underground community of chemists, falls in love with a brilliant psychologist who takes him on as her unofficial research subject, and decamps to a remote island accompanied only by his geriatric pug dog and formidable pharmacopoeia. A hit at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.


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Writer-performer Felicity Seidel takes audiences on a no-holds-barred, comic 60-minute road trip through her crazy, adventure-clad youth as the girlfriend of Bob Weir of Grateful Dead.

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From growing up navigating the streets of NYC to being plucked from the crowd by Weir at a show to going on tour with the Grateful Dead, Seidel's wild ride includes Learjets, pythons, Hells Angels, badass ranchers, an unpredictable drug-kingpin boyfriend and more.


75
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Based on true stories, Robert Galinsky's solo piece explores the emotional heartbreak of five homeless characters and the catastrophic hysteria surrounding AIDS in the 1980s.

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'The Bench's' sparse set is integrated with graphic novel art projections, from Daphne Arthur’s adaptation of the play, and the production is scored live by composer and multi-instrumentalist Deep Singh.


Opens Apr 29

Replay

8 REVIEWS
71
Avg Score

When a fiercely independent, workaholic police officer receives an old cassette tape with a message from her big brother on it, she is propelled back to her vibrant childhood and forced to confront a tremendous loss.


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'Replay' is the story of a woman revisiting her childhood, coming to terms with the significant pain of her past, and finally realizing that she needs to embrace the memory of her brother in order to move on with her life. With heart, honesty, and humor, this play explores what it is to grow up, accept loss, be vulnerable, and celebrate the past, however painful.



67
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In this solo comedy, thirty-eight year old New Yorker Rachel Yardley's ticking  biological clock propels her into doing something that goes against everything she believes in: online dating.

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Challenged by her sister’s dare to meet 50 men in three months, Rachel rises to the occasion. While desperately speed dating at Starbucks, she questions her past choices in ex-boyfriends, abandonment issues with her father, and why the only unconditional love she has ever known is with her dog.  


89
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A one-woman play composed from Rachel's own journals, letters, and emails—creating a portrait of a messy, articulate, young woman, who risked her life as an activist in the heart of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a twenty-three-year-old American, was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza as she was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home. The piece has been surrounded by both controversy and impassioned proponents, and it has raised an unprecedented call to support political work and the difficult discourse it creates.


National Black Theatre and Classical Theatre of Harlem present RSC actor Paterson Joseph's solo play about Charles “Sancho” Ignatius—composer, social satirist, general man of refinement.

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He was born on a slave ship but never a slave, was immortalized by the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough, and in 1774 became the first British-African to cast a vote. 'Sancho' examines this curious, daringly determined life and seeks to cast new light on the often misunderstood narratives of African-British experience.


82
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The Seeing Place presents this solo drama which tells the tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime.

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Based on a true story, and inspired by interviews conducted by the playwright over several years, 'I Am My Own Wife' was the winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the 2004 Tony Award for Best Play.


80
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This NYC premiere solo drama chronicles a young woman's journey through life as she combats the passively inert state of mind that gives rise to her loss of self and to couch surfing.

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What happens when we disappear in order to survive; softening our edges and blurring our outlines to the point of invisibility so the people around us will, well keep us around? Part of her Seven Deadly Plays cycle, Ms. Headland's 'Surfer Girl' explores the sin of sloth, and tackles these question with its story of a woman who is not exactly homeless, never quite broke, and always ready to become whomever she needs to be in order to stick around just that little bit longer.

'Surfer Girl' will feature eight different actresses in the role, under the direction of four different directors across its 16 performances.


Ends Aug 11

CHALK

10 REVIEWS
75
Avg Score

FRIGID new york @ Horse Trade presents a playful and poignant one-man homage to silent film-era comedians, created and performed by Alex Curtis.

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'Chalk' is a whimsical solo show which invites audiences of all ages into a hand-drawn world where imagination is made real and anything can happen. Charlie Chaplin meets Harold and the Purple Crayon in this feel-good romantic romp.


The Amazing Kreskin comes to Off-Broadway for a three-week residency showcasing his legendary you-gotta-see-‘em-to-believe-‘em mentalist abilities as a reader of people’s thoughts.

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Marvel as Kreskin ascertains the suit and value of cards selected randomly by audience members. Watch in wonder as he displays his mental powers by reciting information written in secret by those in attendance. Kreskin will climax each performance of 'The Amazing Kreskin LIVE' with his signature piece, in which he requests that his check be hidden somewhere in the venue. If he fails to find it, he will forfeit that show’s fee. 


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14 distinct and diverse characters are brought to life in The New Victory's one-woman show exploring the American immigrant experience. Based on the book by Newbery Medal-winning author Paul Fleischman.

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Meet the fascinating folk of Gibb Street. From Ana, a crotchety old Romanian woman, to Gonzalo, a feisty Latino teenager, a fractured neighborhood comes together when spirited, young Kim plants some precious beans in a nearby vacant lot. Recommended for ages 8 and up.


Previews start May 16

Link Link Circus

0 REVIEWS
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Baryshnikov Arts Center presents the U.S. premiere of this solo show from Golden Globe-nominated actress Isabella Rossellini about the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions.


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'Link Link Circus,' co-starring a dog named Pan, is at once comic and scientifically informed. Over the course of the performance, Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, a medieval theologian, B.F. Skinner, and Charles Darwin—discussing the essence of human beings and what distinguishes us from the “brutes.” Accompanying Rossellini’s monologue are projections of her short comic films, home movies, photos, and drawings. Pan, an accomplished dog performer, plays various animals, assisted by puppeteer and animal handler Schuyler Beeman.


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Written and performed by Erica Fae, this solo work was Drawn directly from Sarah Wakefield’s auto-biographical narrative 'Six Weeks in the Sioux Tepees,' which recounts her experiences during the 1862 Dakota Uprising.

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Were it not for the protection provided by one Dakota man and his family, Sarah likely would not have lived to tell her story. A complicated narrator, by turns admirable and offensive, Sarah’s gratitude and prejudice endow her voice with sharp resonance for audiences still grappling with the legacy of America’s brutal past (and present).


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A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Dael Orlandersmith 's drama is a powerful examination of the intraracial tensions that impact communities and individual lives.

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Alma and Eugene have known each other since they were young children. As their childhood connection matures into love, Alma struggles to free herself from her mother’s poverty and alcoholism, while Eugene must contend with the legacy of being "yellow"—lighter-skinned than his brutal and unforgiving father.


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