Sex, hair and Donald Trump are 'for now'
SEX is for now.
Hair is for now.
Donald Trump is for now.
Theatre has long been a place for political comment and activism, with the above lines from Avenue Q hitting the mark for the majority of its New York audience.
But they are far from alone - take the message from the Hamilton cast when United States Vice President Mike Pence attended a performance just after Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016.
At the end of the hit Broadway musical about colonial rebels shaping the future of an unformed country, the actor who played Vice President Aaron Burr took aim.
"We, sir - we - are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” Brandon Victor Dixon said.
"We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Drunk Shakespeare - a small off-Broadway show set in a tiny library in Midtown West - is a silly version of Macbeth with one drunk cast member turning the whole performance into a fun drinking game.
They too sprinkle in contemporary political references, sending the audience into stitches.
But theatre is also about taking a magnifying glass to society and religion - taking issues forward through relatable storylines or simply taking the piss.
Avenue Q, which has recently stopped playing in New York, looks at racism, homosexuality, self-pity and unemployment, taking pleasure in other people's misery (Schadenfreude) and the internet (porn) - good luck shaking the latter song from your mind.
It has been satirising the anxieties of entering adulthood since 2003 and it still hits the mark for people of all ages 15 years later.
Waitress is a fun and witty show set in a pie shop with hilarious characters pulling off over-the-top yet heartwarming scenes.
While it starred Smash actor Katherine McPhee, and Orange is the New Black actor Natasha Yvette Williams (who plays Topaz on the Netflix series) in its opening months, it now stars Nicolette Robinson from The Affair.
It also makes a powerful statement about domestic violence, primarily through lesser talked about emotional and financial abuse.
Though, ultimately, female empowerment shines through, it's a brave way to shine a light on an issue long hidden behind closed doors.
Book of Mormon is an ingenious look at religion - from the ridiculous to the epitome of wit. This sharp, stimulating piece of art shines a spotlight on how religion shapes our society and our lives.
If you want to explore more about how these actors feel about articulating these messages - you might get the chance at the stage door or the occasional Q&A with the cast post-performance.
These shows are worth every dollar and are as funny as they carry a serious message.
But if you're after a downright hilarious night with the girls, try the off-broadway delight Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man.
Shows do have an end date, so check online for which shows are still running.
Visit the TKTS booth in Times Square (or download the app) for discounted tickets on Broadway, and smaller off Broadway, performances each day.
But if you want seats for big shows like Book of Mormon or Hamilton, you might want to book ahead.