More than 175 theatre, dance and music events will be offered at discount prices as part of the 7th annual Passport To Off-Broadway campaign. Originally conceived as a one-month promotion, the Passport program now stretches 10 weeks, Feb. 14-April 30.
Included in the discount program are John Patrick Shanley's new Psychopathia Sexualis at Manhattan Theatre Club, David Rabe's The Question of Mercy at New York Theatre Workshop, Maria Irene Fornes' Terra Incognita at the Women's Project, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive at the Vinyard Theatre, and many others.
Here's how it works: A full-color newsletter lists the events, organized by genre and neighborhood. Maps, parking and area restaurants are also provided. This newsletter "passport" offers 10 discount coupons to Off Broadway shows at such venues as the Vineyard, Pearl, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Theatre Workshop and Primary Stages, at discounts sometimes up to 50 percent.
Where can you get the Passport? Well, the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, who publish and maintain the campaign, will try to make the free newsletter ubiquitous in such New York venues as theatres, bookstores, train and bus stations, and tourist information sites. It'll even be popped into selected copies of the New York Times and distributed on Delta Shuttle flights. Out-of-towners will be able to call -- (800) 610-0713 -- for a free mailed copy after Feb. 7.
The passport itself, which is actually a special issue of A.R.T.'s Hot Seats newspaper, opens with an introduction by Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, followed by a piece about downtown theatre by director David (South) Herskovits. There's also a special, bilingual page for Spanish theatre in New York. How does the Passport work? Each of the 10 coupons in the magazine can be used to get 10-50 percent discounts on two seats to listed shows. If you're ordering by phone, be sure to mention the coupon and to bring the coupon to the box office. Be aware that some theatres won't take discount phone reservations and others won't take credit cards for discount tickets -- the Passport will mention which these are. Also, tickets ordered via Ticket Master and Tele-Charge still carry the usual handling fee and service charge.
--By David Lefkowitz