Best Of

Best Theater Festival

by

January. No, that’s not the name of an obscure new venue’s performance series. That’s January — the entire frenzied, freezing month, when New York turns into a citywide extravaganza of performance premieres and special presentations. An international convention of producers meets in midtown, so every theater, dance, and performance artist hangs out a shingle and shows his, her, or their latest and greatest, hoping for a gig. There are more festivals than you can clamber into, and all happen simultaneously — starting with Under the Radar, COIL, American Realness, Special Effects, and Prototype, plus a few exciting pop-ups every year. There are so many performances spread around town that one enterprising team even made an app to help audiences select and keep their calendars together. Sure, it can feel insidery, with show folks air-kissing and applauding each other’s new projects. But January is here to stay: This is festival month. To hell with the old. In with the new — all of it, everywhere, all month long.