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.

90
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.


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.


89
Avg Score

A return engagement of Max Darwin's popular magic and comedy show for kids and adults alike.

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Max combines magic and comedy, making objects appear and disappear and generally defying the laws of physics inches from theatergoers' faces. This high-energy, interactive, and all-around silly show is appropriate for audiences of all ages 3 and up.


88
Avg Score

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.


84
Avg Score

Daniel Alexander Jones returns to Joe’s Pub as Jomama Jones, his critically-acclaimed alter-ego. Commissioned as part of Joe’s Pub’s New York Voices program, 'Black Light' is a musical revival for a turbulent time.

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Jomama leads an intimate journey – through the darkness of personal and political upheaval, and the shards of shattered illusions – illuminated by spontaneous humor. Set to pop, soul, rock and disco, this immersive performance piece strives to remove the barrier between artist and audience through inquiry, story, and song.


Previews start Mar 07

Harry Clarke

151 REVIEWS
84
Avg Score

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.


83
Avg Score

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.


After a run at the Public Theater, Emmy and Obie winner John Leguizamo brings his hit solo show about the buried history of Latinos in the Americas to Broadway.

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Inspired by the near total absence of Latinos in his son’s American history class, Leguizamo embarks on a frenzied search to find a Latin hero for his son’s school project. From a mad recap of the Aztec empire to stories of unknown Latin patriots of the Revolutionary War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down the 3,000 years between the Mayans and Ricky Ricardo into 100 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark style.


The Tony Award-winning author, performer, and activist Eve Ensler ('The Vagina Monologues') comes to MTC with a powerful new solo-play based on her critically acclaimed memoir.

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While working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ensler was stunned by a life-threatening diagnosis. Told with her signature brand of humor, Ensler’s personal journey uncovers surprising connections between her body and the earth and how illness can be both transformative and transcendent. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.


78
Avg Score

In this solo show, six-foot 1-inch blonde spitfire Terri Mateer tells her life story of becoming a pro basketball player in France.

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Raised by a single, hippie mom, an African American surrogate father stepped in and taught Terri how to play the game. Being 6’ 1” in the sixth grade, she was a natural, but dreams of becoming an architect. Terri's unbelievable journey includes playing pro ball, modeling, stripping, and designing Michael Jordan’s headboard.


77
Avg Score

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.


The solo comedy about what gets left behind as homosexuality moves into the mainstream returns for an encore run. Directed by Michael Urie ('Ugly Betty,' 'Buyer & Cellar').  

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Josh and Brennan are about to get married in Palm Springs on a lovely Saturday afternoon. However, the night before becomes a drunken, drug-fueled riot because their friend Gerry has arrived, furious that their invitation says, "Please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns." In the struggle for equality, what do we really want? What do we lose? And is there any cocaine left? 'Bright Colors and Bold Patterns' was written and originally performed by Outfest Award winner Drew Droege, who is best known for his online videos as Chloë Sevigny. Jeff Hiller ('Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson') now stars.


Previews start Mar 15

The Wholehearted

6 REVIEWS
77
Avg Score

Abrons Arts Center presents this New York premiere solo show that offers spectators a ringside seat to a blood-pumping revenge tragedy and intimate tribute to lost love. 

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Once a championship boxer, Dee Crosby was taken down in her prime by her own husband. Now that Charlie is freshly released from prison for her attempted murder, Dee is hell-bent on revenge, no matter the cost. But only Dee's true love, Carmen, can provide her with redemption. Featuring pulse-pounding cinematic design and an original rockabilly score.


75
Avg Score

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.


Roundabout Theatre Company presents the Broadway debut of Tony and Emmy Award winner John Lithgow's solo piece, an exploration of storytelling full of personal insights.

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With equal measures of humor and heart, Lithgow conjures a cast of indelible characters from classic short stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse. 'Stories By Heart' first took shape in 2008 at Lincoln Center Theater in a special repertory presentation, with Lithgow telling one story each night. Since then he has evolved the play in theaters around the country. Directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan. the Broadway debut of 'John Lithgow: Stories By Heart' is the culmination of this artistic development.


60
Avg Score

Straight from the world of almost-Best Picture winner 'La La Land' comes this comic take on Emma Stone’s character’s ill-fated, never-before-seen, one-woman show. Starring Jimmy Fowlie as Mia Dolan.

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What was it about this poorly produced, shoddily designed and sparsely attended production that was supposed to launch this struggling actress into super stardom? 'So Long Boulder City' is a life-affirming tale of determination, ambition, crushed hopes, and Hollywood triumph.


The Bushwick Starr, in collaboration with All For One Theater, presents this Afrofuturism transmedia piece written by and starring award-winning solo performer, actor, and poet, Darian Dauchan.

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One hundred years from now a race of Hip Hop androids known as Brobots will form a unit, The Tribe Called Space Quest, to spread their message of peace, love, and dopeness all over the universe. Through live looped vocals, rhymes, and beat-boxing, they perform the origin story of the first of their kind. They call it 'The Brobot Johnson Experience,' a sci-fi, hip hop solo concert that defies both space...and time.


Ends Aug 11

CHALK

9 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.


Brooklyn impresario Modesto Flako Jimenez conjures his beloved borough in this bilingual elegy, told through poems, projections, and music.

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“Listen to the beats / The rhythm of my Bushwick streets.” With lyrical wordplay and irreverence, '¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn' complicates our perceptions of race, language, and gentrification and calls us to be truly present to ask the question: “What is my moral worth?”


Previews start Mar 21

Feeding the Dragon

0 REVIEWS
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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.


Previews start Mar 14

Shakespeare's Will

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Tannis Kowalchuk embodies the Bard's wife, Anne Hathaway, in this wry, moving, solo musical tribute.

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Performed with dynamic theatricality and live music, NACL's production of Vern Thiessen's epic monologue delves into a complex female experience of 16th century life while drawing contemporary parallels to modern love, children, work, and loss.


Previews start Mar 15

My Brilliant Divorce

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This one-woman comic drama about the aftermath of a New Yorker's divorce from her British husband, explores how to cope when the world you have built comes crashing spectacularly down.


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Rachel Lipsky Haringay is divorced and abandoned by her irritatingly round-headed husband of many years after he discloses his Argentine lover, "Rosa the Posa." Now alone in London, Rachel is left to deal with an empty nest, a disapproving mother, a misogynist lawyer, some dubious counselors, a bad case of hypochondria and the specter of poverty. With only the family dog Axal for company, Rachel mourns her marriage, picks up the pieces, and learns to live whole again.


Opens Feb 28

Chasm

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Rebecca Patek returns to the stage in this solo performance that looks at the events of 2014 that led to her leaving the contemporary dance/performance art world. 

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It has been four years since Patek's piece 'ineter(a)nal f/ear' played as part of the American Realness. At the time, her work was exploring victimization, as a survivor of rape. It was fast eclipsed when a performance was interrupted by performance artist and provocateur Ann Liv Young. The events that followed included uproar in social media and the press, calling Patek's true story into question. In 'Chasm' she finally gets the chance to tell her side of the story, and reflect on why she has chosen instead to pursue a career in medicine. In her satirical style, this piece reflects on a wider problem in the contemporary performance world still yet to face its own #METOO reckoning. 


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La MaMa presents New York performance artist John Kelly's solo piece based on his 40 years of journal writing.

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The work theatrically combines Kelly's deeply personal texts with movement, video, music, song, and live drawing into a ‘live memoir’. His experiences within the East Village art scene of the 1980s, gender performance, and the AIDS epidemic, have defined his status as a survivor whose presence challenges the ruptures in our cultural and generational dialogue.


Previews start Mar 08

The Signature Project

0 REVIEWS
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A multi-sensory theatrical experience centered around a huge 76 ft x 36 ft mural layered with hidden secrets. For the past 22 years artist Patrick Dunning has toured the United States bringing the mural to life.

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Dunning weaves stories and images in the great tradition of Irish artists. Now, this play with music and dance comes to New York for its Off-Broadway premiere. A unique blend of art and technology, 'The Signature Project' offers the opportunity for the audience to join over 300,000 people whose signatures already comprise the fabric of this monumental art work. The painting and the play are constantly changing and evolving as people contribute their own signature and story to the larger artwork, adding perspectives and ideas.


Previews start Mar 07

Speed Queen

0 REVIEWS
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Hollywood glamour meets queer performance art in this world premiere solo performance about Gay Pride pioneer ‘Joe’ Carstairs, the 1926 World Speedboat record holder.

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Written and performed by Phoebe Legere, who depicts cross-dresser Joe Carstairs and seven of her girlfriends including: Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich, Billie Holiday, and Mabel Mercer. A trans-disciplinary play, 'Speed Queen' uses wearable sculpture, dance, theater, and nude lesbian films to tell a story of heartbreak, heroism, and love.


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