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.

Ends Jan 28

Say Something Bunny!

Members say: Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Unique
90
Critics
88
7 reviews
Members
90
16 reviews

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.

 

Ends Feb 03

Springsteen on Broadway

Members say: Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Must see, Great writing
89
Critics
85
41 reviews
Members
92
29 reviews

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.

 

Opens Nov 30

A Christmas Carol (Summoners Ensemble Theatre)

Members say: Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Refreshing, Great acting
86
Critics
87
8 reviews
Members
85
12 reviews

Summoners Ensemble Theatre presents its fifth annual run of this one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens' beloved holiday classic. Performed at the landmarked Merchant's House Museum.

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It's December 1867. Charles Dickens arrives in New York City for a month of sold-out performances of 'A Christmas Carol.' Join the author, portrayed by John Kevin Jones, in the elegant and intimate parlor of the historic, 19th-century Merchant's House for an hour-long performance created from Dickens' own script. Meet Mr. Dickens and toast the holiday season before select performances.

 

Ends Dec 02

Trump Lear

Members say: Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Relevant
85
Critics
87
4 reviews
Members
84
19 reviews

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

 

Ends Dec 10

Harry Clarke

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Great writing
84
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
84
58 reviews

Vineyard Theatre's world premiere solo show is a sexually charged comic thriller about a shy midwestern man leading an outrageous double life as the cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. Starring Tony winner Billy Crudup.

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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.

 

Ends May 06

In & Of Itself

Members say: Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Masterful
82
Critics
81
24 reviews
Members
82
78 reviews

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.

 

Ends Dec 30

Rakugo

Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Delightful, Refreshing
82
Critics
75
1 review
Members
82
17 reviews

Celebrated master Katsura Sunshine brings the 400-year-old Japanese art of comic storytelling to NYC, in a presentation that offers different stories according to the day.

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With a minimal set, Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion, who, using only a fan and a hand towel for props, entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by a traditional story. In Japan, Rakugo has over 800 professional storytellers. Sunshine is the first Westerner to complete the grueling 3-year apprenticeship under a Rakugo Master and receive a name in the history of the Osaka Rakugo Tradition.

 

Ends Feb 25

Latin History for Morons

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Relevant, Thought-provoking
81
Critics
77
25 reviews
Members
81
214 reviews

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.

 

Ends Nov 26

The Elephant in Every Room I Enter

Members say: Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Absorbing, Nicely performed, Intelligent
79
Critics
85
10 reviews
Members
76
5 reviews

After a 2015 run at La MaMa, Gardiner Comfort's intimate solo show about being an actor living with Tourette syndrome transfers to Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop.

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Created with his frequent collaborator Kel Haney, the play explores the week Gardiner spent at the Tourette Association of America National Conference in Washington, DC. Surrounded by hundreds of other people with Tourette's, he realized it was the first time he felt "normal." Using an erratic and energetic performance style (a nod to Tourette's itself), this original show blends comedy, dance, and a personal outlook on disability.

 

Ends Nov 26

Diary of a Madman

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Intelligent
79
Critics
81
10 reviews
Members
79
22 reviews

This solo adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's short story chronicles an average man's doomed quest for individuality in a seemingly indifferent city.

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Only in his madness does the lowly anti-hero attain greatness! 'Diary of a Madman' centers on Poprishchin, a low-ranking civil servant who yearns to be noticed by the beautiful daughter of a senior official, with whom he has fallen in love. His diary records his gradual slide into insanity.

 

Opens Dec 07

The Mushroom Cure

Members say: Thought-provoking, Original, Absorbing, Quirky, Ambitious
77
Critics
81
12 reviews
Members
76
7 reviews

After premiering at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and run at the Cherry Lane Theater in 2016, Adam Strauss' solo show chronicling his deep dive into the world of hallucinogenic mushrooms makes its Off-Broadway debut.

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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.

 

Opens Nov 28

Who's Holiday!

Members say: Quirky, Great acting, Clever, Raunchy, Funny
77
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
77
11 reviews

This wildly irreverent solo show is a heartfelt holiday parody that looks at the life of a grown-up Cindy Lou Who. Starring Lesli Margherita ('Matilda The Musical'). 

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A middle-aged Cindy Lou Who, now residing in a beaten-down trailer in the snowy hills of Mount Crumpit, is about to host a Christmas Eve party for her friends. As she prepares, she recalls from her own perspective that fated night when she first met the Grinch, and the strange turn of events her life has taken for the past 40 years.

 

Ends Jan 07

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns

Members say: Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Hilarious, Clever
77
Critics
83
17 reviews
Members
77
77 reviews

Drew Droege's 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 by and stars Outfest Award winner Drew Droege, who is best known for his online videos as Chloë Sevigny.

 

Ends Dec 17

The Bench

Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Ambitious
77
Critics
87
2 reviews
Members
76
39 reviews

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.

 

Ends Dec 10

Let Me Cook For You

Members say: Resonant, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great staging, Thought-provoking
92
Critics
90
1 review
Members
93
1 review

Theaterlab’s Artistic Director Orietta Crispino presents her solo series examining a collage of inherited myths and apocryphal histories, melding the intoxicating act of storytelling with the ritual of preparing food.

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'Let Me Cook For You' is part of Theaterlab's Fall Season - 'Eat Your Heart Out,' which celebrates the ephemeral cycle of performance that echoes itself with each iteration, and feeds the audience something different each time. After all, you can't eat the same apple twice.

 

Ends Dec 18

Irving Berlin: In Person

Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Informative, Entertaining, Great staging
85
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
85
1 review

From Chip Deffaa and Jon Peterson, the playwright/director and star of 'George M. Cohan Tonight!,' comes a new one-man show about a legendary songwriter.

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With little formal education, Irving Berlin rose from poverty to become the most successful single songwriter in history. He composed more hits--and made more money--than any of his competitors in the Golden Age of Popular Song. 'Irving Berlin: In Person' showcases an array of classic Berlin hits such as 'I Love a Piano,' 'Alexander's Ragtime Band,' 'When I Lost You,' 'Simple Melody,' 'Say it with Music,' 'When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam,' 'A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody,' and more, plus rarities and rediscoveries.

 

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.

 

Opens Jan 06

A Kind Shot

Members say: Absorbing, Edgy, Entertaining, Refreshing, Real
77
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
77
5 reviews

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.

 

Ends Aug 11

CHALK

Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Enchanting, Absorbing, Delightful
76
Critics
81
4 reviews
Members
73
4 reviews

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.

 

59E59 presents this one man play from Daniel LLewelyn-Williams about a Welsh dockworker's son at the turn of the last century, who, smitten by Harry Houdini, dreams of a life of magic.

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His parents struggle with their son’s eccentricity, but doggedly training himself to emulate his hero on the industrial detritus, his relentless ambition finally brings him face-to-face with the world’s greatest showman - and one of the most terrifying events in British industrial history. Is it possible to follow one’s dreams when poverty weighs you down like mud? An story that blends childhood imagination with the cynicism of adulthood. A tale of hope, determination, and magic.

 

Written and performed by Jody Christopherson, this multi-media solo horror piece is based on the creation of Mary Shelley’s 'Frankenstein,' Luigi Galvani’s discovery of “animal electricity,” and the birth of modern feminism. 

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'AMP' is an exploration of harnessing the universal forces within as paths to freedom and gender equality. This is a work that connects history to present day to explore the progress we have made, and the dreams we have yet to achieve. Who are our monsters and what does that mean for a society? Can being revolting become a revolution? An electrical current. A modern Prometheus. An investigation of gender, sexuality, Galvani, Mary Shelley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

 

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.

 

Hang A Tale Theater Company presents this solo play inspired by the life of a real Japanese American, who fought against US government's efforts to set up internment camps during World War II.


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'Hold These Truths' explores a little-known chapter of American history, when civil liberties were under attack, constitutional rights violated, and issues of race hotly debated by a divided country. In Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the US Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs, and a confrontation with its failures. 

 

The past, present, and future intermingle in Origin Theatre Company's one-man, site-specific parlor performance of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic taking place in the Chelsea townhouse and theater space.

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Adapting Dickens’ little-used original performance text, Origin’s immersive staging transforms the Chelsea home of the actors Rip Torn and Geraldine Page. They fill the 19th century townhouse with the sights, sounds and smells of both a large Victorian home, and a more modest dwelling circa 1853, which will heighten the inter-dependence of the haves and have-nots inherent in the story. Mince pie and mulled wine, prepared on the premises, will be served during the performance. A small, multi-racial chorus singing period carols will also evoke the season.  The one-man version of the story features the distinguished African-American opera singer and actor Elmore James.

 

This new American solo show centers around a high school history teacher with a few "small" obsessions. One being James Buchanan, widely considered the worst American president in history.

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Recounting tales of some poor choices he has made in his life, the teacher mounts a rousing defense of himself and James Buchanan. 'Histrionics' is an examination of privilege, weakness, sex, history, good intentions, and self-delusion.

 

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