Three lesser-known theater shows that deserve a shot

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Underrated theater shows

Even if you've never stepped foot inside of a theater, you've probably heard of Wicked, The Lion King, and The Phantom of the Opera. If you’re a bit of a theater geek, there are probably a slew of other titles that you find recognizable, including Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, and Avenue Q.

Those well-known titles are frequently among the top sellers here at TicketNetwork, as evidenced by Mike’s monthly Top 10 events. Of course, those shows arguably rise to the top because they tell a moving story, the actors are fantastic, and it strikes the right combination of music, costumes, and mood — but that doesn't mean worthy theater shows stop and end with the biggest names.

What about some shows you may not have heard of, but still might be worth checking out?

My Name is Asher Lev

Synopsis: My Name is Asher Lev is about a young artist who is struggling to reconcile his artistic talent with his father’s desire for him to grow up and become something "useful." It doesn't help that his Jewish community in 1950s Brooklyn is against his art, too. If he’s not spending time working on religious art, they ask, then what’s the point?

Why I’m interested: The show combats an issue that I think many can sympathize with: do you pursue what you love or do you go after what your parents want? There are only three actors in this entire play — Ari Brand is Asher, while Mark Nelson and Jenny Bacon play his parents, plus all the other male and female roles — which I think makes it even more amazing. Tickets for this show are available through May.

What critics say: The Huffington Post’s Michael Glitz called the show "one of the best shows of the year". Stumbling upon Ari Brand’s talent, he wrote, "makes you know how that art dealer felt when she first saw Asher's work. It doesn't happen often." Scott Brown, of Vulture, wrote that My Name is Asher Lev is "spare, piercing, and beautiful."