Best Off Broadway shows: plays and musicals to see

The best play, musicals and revivals on New York's more intimate stages

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Although people think Broadway is synonymous with New York theater, truth is there’s a lot of great stuff beyond the bright lights of the Great White Way. Some of the most innovative new plays and musicals are happening on the city’s more intimate Off Broadway stages (technically defined as seating between 100 and 499). From the award-winning Public Theater downtown to the crowd-pleasing attactions at New World stages and the city’s network of great nonprofit companies, Off Broadway offers something for everyone.


Angels in America

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Flemish provocateur Ivo van Hove and his Dutch troupe, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, revisit Tony Kushner's era-defining 1990s masterwork in a stripped-down, five-hour production. Hans Kesting stars as the

  1. 651 Fulton St, between Ashland and Rockwell Pls
  2. $40–$120
  3. Thu Oct 23 - Sat Oct 25
More info

The Belle of Amherst

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The Belle of Amherst. Westside Theatre (see Off Broadway). By William Luce. Directed by Steve Cosson. With Joely Richardson. Running time: 1hr 50mins. One intermission. The Belle of Amherst: In

  1. 407 W 43rd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves
  2. $79–$99
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Thu Dec 31
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Blue Man Group

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Three deadpan, blue-skinned men with extraterrestrial imaginations carry this tourist fave, a show as smart as it is ridiculous. They drum on open tubs of paint, creating splashes of color; they

  1. 434 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $82.30–$106.30
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets

The Bullpen

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Bullpen. Playroom Theatre (see Off-Off Broadway). By Joe Assadourian. Dir. Richard Hoehler. With Assadourian. 1hr 10mins. No intermission. The Bullpen: In Brief Joe Assadourian plays 18

  1. 151 W 46th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 10036
  2. $30
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sat Nov 22
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Celebrity Autobiography

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Major comedic actors prick the bubble of celeb autobiographical puffery by performing droll, verbatim readings from stars' memoirs in Eugene Pack’s popular series. Guest performers on Oct 20

  1. 158 W 72nd St, between Columbus Ave and Broadway
  2. $35–$60 plus two-drink minimum
  3. Mon Oct 20
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Company XIV: Rococo Rouge

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Austin McCormick and his Company XIV move into their new digs on Lafayette Street with a new nightlife-performance spectacle, featuring the company's signature blend of live music, decadent dance and

  1. 428 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $55–$125
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Nov 2
More info

Found

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Found. Atlantic Theater Company (Off Broadway). Book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree. Music by Eli Bolin. Directed by Overtree. With Nick Blaemire, Barrett Wilbert Weed. Running time: 2hrs 15mins.

  1. 336 W 20th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10011
  2. $75
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Nov 9
More info

Fuerza Bruta: Wayra

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Fuerza Bruta: Wayra. Daryl Roth Theatre (see Off Broadway). Conceived and directed by Diqui James. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission. Wayra: In brief Fuerza Bruta returns

  1. 101 E 15th St, at Union Sq East
  2. $99
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Thu Dec 31
Buy tickets

generations

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

generations. Soho Rep (see Off Broadway). By debbie tucker green. Directed by Leah C. Gardiner. Music by Bongi Duma. With ensemble cast. Running time: 35mins. No intermission. generations: In

  1. 46 Walker St, between Broadway and Church St
  2. $35
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Nov 9
More info

Here Lies Love

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Theater review by David Cote. Public Theater (see Off Broadway). Concept and lyrics by David Byrne. Music by Byrne and Fatboy Slim. Dir. Alex Timbers. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No

  1. 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $79–$94
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sat Jan 3
Buy tickets

Jacuzzi

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Jacuzzi. Ars Nova (Off Broadway). By Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen. Directed by Oliver Butler. With Bos, Thureen, Chris Lowell, Peter Friedman. Running time: 1hr 40mins. No intermission. Jacuzzi: In

  1. 511 W 54th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. $35
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sat Nov 8
More info

Lippy

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Lippy. Abrons Arts Center (see Off Broadway). By Bush Moukarzel, Mark O’Halloran and Dead Centre. Directed by Ben Kidd. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission. Lippy: In

  1. 466 Grand St, at Pitt St, 10002
  2. $30
  3. Wed Oct 22 - Sun Nov 2
More info

Port Authority

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Port Authority. DR2 Theatre (see Off Broadway). By Conor McPherson. Directed by Ciarán O’Reilly. With Billy Carter, Peter Maloney and James Russell. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission. Port

  1. 103 E 15th St, between Union Sq East and Irving Pl
  2. $70
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Nov 16
More info

Project Shaw: The League of Youth

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

David Staller’s Project Shaw diverges from its George Bernard Shaw mandate to present the New York debut of Henrik Ibsen's little-known 1869 play (his first in prose) about political idealism. The

  1. 2537 Broadway, at 95th St
  2. $30
  3. Mon Oct 27
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Queen of the Night

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Queen of the Night. Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel (see Off Broadway). By Randy Weiner. Directed by Christine Jones. With ensemble cast. Running time: 3hrs. No intermission. Queen of the

  1. 235 W 46th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 10036
  2. $140–$175, premium $275–$500
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Scenes from a Marriage

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Scenes from a Marriage. New York Theatre Workshop (see Off Broadway). By Ingmar Bergman. English version by Emily Mann. Conceived and directed by Ivo van Hove. With ensemble cast. 3hrs 30mins. One

  1. 79 E 4th St, between Bowery and Second Ave
  2. $75
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Oct 26
More info

Smoke

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Smoke. Flea Theater (see Off-Off Broadway). By Kim Davies. Directed by Tom Costello. With Madeleine Bundy and Stephen Stout. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission. Smoke: In brief A privileged

  1. 41 White St, between Broadway and Church St
  2. $15–$35, after Oct 9 $35
  3. Thu Oct 23 - Sun Nov 9
More info

The Source

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The brainy Daniel Fish directs Ted Hearne and Mark Doten's experimental music-theater piece, about Chelsea Manning's release of government documents to Wikileaks. The four singers' voices are

  1. 321 Ashland Pl, between Hanson Pl and Lafayette Ave, 11217
  2. $20
  3. Wed Oct 22 - Sat Oct 25
More info

Then She Fell

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

[Note: Since this review was written, Then She Fell has moved and reopened; it now plays on three floors of a church building in Williamsburg.] At first blush, Then She Fell seems to be a small-scale

  1. 2 Kingsland Ave, at Maspeth Ave, ground floor
  2. $95–$135
  3. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Users say

1 comments
Terry
Terry

Did not see "Happy Birthday" on your list. It deserves a wonderful review...well-acted and very funny! A must see...at the Beckett Theatre til April 13th.