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Lindsey Weber Wants You to See More Plays (Not Broadway)

The "Who? Weekly" host stays knowledgeable about New York's indie theater scene.

3:52 PM EDT on April 20, 2023

Soho Repertory Theater. (Courtesy of sohorep.org)

Halfway through talking to Lindsey, who runs not broadway, the under-$50-roundup newsletter of indie theater in New York, I recognized her voice as belonging to Lindsey Weber, co-host of "Who? Weekly," one of my favorite podcasts. "Both endeavors come from the same place," she said, "I was a Tumblr person in 2009." I asked her how she finds time not just to see a ton of theater, but to also be knowledgeable enough to inform others about what's playing in the city.

"I was already keeping track of shows I wanted to see. I had signed myself up for all these newsletters, and realized that I basically had an RSS feed of upcoming shows," Weber told me. "I'd go through it once a week and make a list of what's coming out and what I wanted to get tickets to, and there was so much good theater for under 50 bucks that was either running for short periods of time, or at a theater that was off the Broadway spectrum. That's how not broadway started."

(Courtesy of Lindsey Weber)

"But Hell Gate!" you might be saying, "I'm 29 years old! Isn't it too late for me to become a theater kid?"

I was thinking the same thing, but Weber told me that "smaller theaters are desperate to get young people to go see shows." 

"It's really hard to market theater," Weber explained. "You can practically see stuff for free if you're under the age of thirty, and it's so funny to me that I didn't really care about doing it until I was almost past that age, thinking that was out of reach for me." 

So don't make that same mistake–it's never too late to become a connoisseur. 

"I just fell in love with plays," Weber said. "I got really into seeing plays that I hadn't known existed in theaters that I didn't know existed." I asked her which upcoming shows she is most excited about so that you, dear Hell Gate reader, can do the same. 

Always: Sign up for theater newsletters.

Weber said her first recommendation is signing up for the newsletters of smaller theaters like Soho Rep, Bushwick Starr, The Flea, The Brick and Target Margin, which she says always have good stuff going on. "Don't even worry about what it is, it's going to be under 30 bucks. Take a chance," she advised. "The problem is people want to wait for when the reviews come out, and that's when the show is maybe almost over and the tickets become expensive or sold out. The more you see, the more you remember directors, playwrights, theater companies, the theaters themselves. Just start going."

Opening Tuesday, May 2: "The Cotillion" by Colette Robert - Mezzanine Theater at A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 W 53rd Street, New York, $26.25.

"It is kind of a play on cotillion, you know, coming-of-age parties. This is just something I've come across that friends have buzzed about being exciting. That's what theater is, you hear "oh, this had a reading a few years ago, and people thought it was really cool." This is a cool one. I think it's about debutantes. It has live music, you can get seats that are interactive with the stage. I love a show where you're immersed in the energy of the show. The tickets are affordable, but 10 for every show are pay-what-you-can. For those tickets you have to get to the theater an hour before, but that's really doable, and, I think, really worth it."

Opening Tuesday, May 9: "Romeo and Juliet" in a modern verse translation by Hansol Jung - ​​Lynn F. Angelson Theater, 136 East 13th Street, New York, $43.50. 

"Hansol Jung is amazing. She is awesome. She did a show called "Wolf Play" that just came out that I loved and I just think she has momentum and this will be fantastic, so I highly recommend that. Romeo and Juliet is so good, how could it be bad?"

Previews May 16-19, Opening May 20: "demons." by Keelay Gipson - Connelly Theater, 220 East 4th Street, New York, $15-$45 + fees.

"The Bushwick Starr is a Brooklyn-based theater that I recommended, and they're doing a show with the Connelly Theater downtown. It's 90 minutes, perfect length for a show. I've heard a little bit about it. You can get seniors and students tickets for $15, there's an LGBTQIA+ community night. This is supposed to be great, it has a lot of good people attached and seems really interesting. It's a spooky-ish play."

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