Ross Tipograph, WSWD’s NYC Performance Expert

Ross Tipograph is a wunderkind of immersive theater. Both a writer and producer, he founded 8Players, an experiential production company based in New York. Ross writes, directs, and scores the live events, in which the audience takes on a starring role for the full duration of a narrative inspired by classic, camp, and trash cinema. Strangers are brought together through a shared creative experience that’s surreal, unexpectedly funny, and spellbinding. 8Players has run sold-out performances since 2013, including a public series of five simultaneous shows in five venues across Brooklyn and Manhattan from 2015 to 2017.

When he’s not writing, producing theatrical experiences, or helping make award-winning films, the Brooklynite can be found in New York’s movie theaters, indulging his “addiction to seeing very limited, unintentionally odd art-house movies right before they leave theaters, just for the experience,” because “catching these hard-to-find throwaways feels a little like magic.”

And, of course, the bon vivant knows a thing or two about where to host an impromptu salon over some booze or a bite.

Ross Tipograph’s Best of NYC

Date-night spot Slowly Shirley on a weeknight in the West Village. A stellar little underground lounge with a great mood and expensive but endless drink options.

Place to take out-of-town guests Mars 2112 on 51st Street. It was born in 1998 and it died in 2011. It was too good for this world. You had to take a spaceship simulator to enter this high-production space-themed cavernous restaurant “on Mars,” with fascinatingly awful food and a huge arcade.

Rainy-day activity Metrograph on the Lower East Side. It’s an oddly clean high-end movie house with perfect programming, an all-day restaurant (The Commissary), and two intimate bars on two floors.

Restaurant Champs Diner in Bushwick, a cash-only spot for vegan comfort food for the soul. Fake Philly cheese steaks for the whole family!

Drinks with friends Featherweight, also in Bushwick. Spend the whole night at this stupendous hipster hideaway above a restaurant for only a handful of small groups at a time.