THE BLOG
08/07/2014 11:53 am ET Updated Oct 07, 2014

Top Off-Broadway Shows to Watch in NYC: Part Two

From an over-the-top dinner and theater experience to a risqué revue about naked men singing and dancing, read about the intimate, and often interactive, shows you can only experience off-Broadway in this Part Two of my Off-Broadway crawl (read the Part One here)

Queen of the Night

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"Say yes to everything," the host will announce as he leads you downstairs to the Diamond Horseshoe beneath the Paramount Hotel in Midtown. Indeed, being open-minded is the key to enjoying Queen of the Night, an extravagant, out-of-this-world spectacle that combines acrobatic acts, magic tricks, a communal feast of either a plate of beef ribs, a whole roast suckling pig or a cage full of steamed lobsters and lots of physical intimacy and audience participation.

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Often described as a loose adaptation of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night takes you to a whirlwind of fantastical world, in which the acrobats juggle wooden blocks, throw sharp knives and randomly approach you to massage your shoulder, tousle your hair or kiss you on the cheek. You will cap off the experience by being spoon-fed delicious chocolate cake...while perhaps being whipped on the bottom with a leather lash.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man

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Whether you are straight or gay, a woman or a man or a sex novice or an expert, you will learn something new and insightful about the enigmatic world of sex during this hilarious, three-character comedy. Based on the best-selling book of the same title, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man takes place at a monthly meet-the-authors event where Robyn, the shy and naive moderator, explores her love life (or the lack thereof) with the help of Dan, the flamboyant gay author and Stefan, the brawny stage assistant.

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The audience members are encouraged to demonstrate all the titillating tips that Dan presents on stage, from fondling the "Bullet Train" to giving a massage. The show takes place at 777 Theater in Hell's Kitchen.

The Fantasticks

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There is a girl, there is a boy and there is a wall erected by their feuding fathers that separates these two lovers apart. The Fantasticks, which holds the title as the world's longest-running musical, seems to tell the classic, Romeo and Juliet-style story of forbidden love, but there is a twist. The fathers are not actual enemies, but best friends who staged the whole scenario, believing that illicit love will naturally drive their rebellious children into falling in love with each other.

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This seemingly simple storyline unfolds into a more complicated plot in which true love is realized after some struggles. Playing at the intimate Jerry Orbach Theater in the heart of Times Square, the Fantasticks is a beloved classic with talented cast members, comic reliefs and melodious tunes that will charm you for the duration of the show.

Here Lies Love

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The audience members are as much a part of the show as the actors in this 90-minute, wholly-immersive musical about the lives of Filipino leaders, Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos. Set in a dance club atmosphere, Here Lies Love recounts the journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda, from her meteoric rise to political power and fame to the equally rapid decline into disgrace and infamy following the end of the People Power Revolution.

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All the while, the audience dances and sings along with the cast members, basking in the energetic choreography and songs influenced by four decades of dance music in a 360-degree scenic and video environment. Here Lies Love plays at the Public Theater in East Village.

Naked Boys Singing

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The title of the show is as fitting as it can be. Naked Boys Singing, a cabaret-style musical, features a group of flamboyant eight men who dance and sing while baring it all...quite literally! While the show has no storyline, the show's original musical numbers -- ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to poignantly touching and personal -- are filled with explicit languages, sexual innuendos and touching lyrics that will resonate with its audience from the start to the end. Naked Boys Singing, which plays at Kirk Theatre in Hell's Kitchen, makes for a fun start to a girls' night out or a bachelorette party.