Off-Broadway is bringing theatrical productions to the masses in the next two weeks as the 20at20 promotion starts this week, coinciding with the end...

Off-Broadway is bringing theatrical productions to the masses in the next two weeks as the 20at20 promotion starts this week, coinciding with the end of New York City’s extended restaurant week.

Running from Tuesday, September 8 through Sunday, September 20, the 20at20 event allows audiences to see select Off-Broadway shows for just $20 per ticket, provided they arrive at the box office in the 20 minutes before show time. Mentioning “20 at 20” upon their arrival gets patrons their tickets for just $20. There is no limit on attendance for the shows in the promotions. In fact, the 20at20 Web site encourages everyone to attend as many participating shows as possible during the two week period.

There are 26 Off-Broadway shows participating in the 20at20 event, including some heavy-hitters from years past. Fans can choose from such productions as Altar Boyz, “The Awesome 80’s Prom”, Stomp and The Fantasticks. Also on the list are The Toxic Avenger, “Girls Night: The Musical”, and Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant”.

A project of the Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance, the 20at20 event began in 2007 and runs twice each year, during the fall and winter months. Ken Davenport, head of Davenport Theatrical and an Alliance board member, spoke with TicketNews about this season’s installment. Davenport explained that the Off-Broadway Theater Alliance grew out of a perceived need to highlight what Off-Broadway, as well as the larger theater environment, have to offer to the public.

“There have been a huge number of Pulitzer Prize winners that started Off-Broadway. We (the Off-Broadway community) provided Broadway with some of its biggest hits, like Avenue Q, “A Chorus Line”, In the Heights, ‘Proof,’ ‘Spring Awakening,’ and ‘Doubt.’ [We developed the 20at20 program because] we hear theatergoers saying that theater is too expensive, and this is our way to give back to them,” Davenport said.

Discussing the great opportunities to see popular shows in the next two weeks, Davenport highlights the variety of productions participating in the 20at20 event. “What a diversity of shows…you can see an interactive show like ‘The Awesome 80’s Prom’ or the new David Mamet one-act at the Atlantic. It shows the diversity of Off-Broadway, also the different times and days [of shows]…it’s not the traditional schedule.”

Have there been any changes for this installment of 20at20? “The changes are we have more shows,” Davenport said. “We have become a part of the New York City calendar, and more shows are wanting to be a part of [this event]…We move a tremendous amount of tickets during this period. The uniformity of it all, people love. They go crazy for it, and there will be very long lines for some of the most popular shows.”