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.


Abacus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Lars Jan writes, directs and stars in Early Morning Opera's Next Wave Festival production, a performance piece set up as a radical TED Talks–style lecture on geopolitical issues.

  1. 321 Ashland Pl, between Hanson Pl and Lafayette Ave, 11217
  2. $20
  3. Wed Sep 24 - Sat Sep 27
More info

Barceló con hielo

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Barceló con hielo. Repertorio Español at the Gramercy Arts Theatre (see Off-Off Broadway). By Marco Antonio Rodríguez. Directed by José Zayas. In Spanish with English subtitles. With ensemble

  1. 138 E 27th St, between Lexington and Third Aves
  2. $15
  3. Fri Sep 19
More info

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. Sat Sep 20 - Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets

Bootycandy

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

Bootycandy. Playwrights Horizons (Off Broadway). By Robert O’Hara. Directed by O’Hara. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mins. One intermission. Bootycandy: In brief Writer-director

  1. 416 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves
  2. $75–$95
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Oct 19
More info

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. $20
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Crossing the Line 2014

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The French Institute Alliance Française’s eighth annual fall festival brings an intriguing offering of theater, dance, talks and art to the institution's home base and to sites across New York.

  1. 22 E 60th St, between Madison and Park Aves
  2. Free–$40
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Mon Oct 20
More info

Embers

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

Embers. BAM Harvey Theater (see Off Broadway). By Samuel Beckett. Directed by Gavin Quinn. With Andrew Bennett and Áine Ní Mhuirí. Running time: 50mins. No intermission. Embers: In brief Peter Pan

  1. 651 Fulton St, between Ashland and Rockwell Pls
  2. $35–$50
  3. Sat Sep 20
More info

The Fatal Weakness

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

The Fatal Weakness. Mint Theater Company (see Off Broadway). By George Kelly. Directed by Jesse Marchese. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mins. Two intermissions. The Fatal Weakness: In

  1. 311 W 43rd St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, third floor
  2. $55
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Oct 12
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. Sat Sep 20 - Thu Dec 31
Buy tickets

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. Sat Sep 20 - Thu Dec 31
Buy tickets

Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical

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

Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical. Theatre at St. Clement’s (Off Broadway). By Anthony Wayne. Directed by Wayne and Kendrell Bowman. With Wayne. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No

  1. 423 W 46th St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves
  2. $25–$84.50
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Oct 5
More info

My Mañana Comes

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

My Mañana Comes. Peter Jay Sharp Theater (see Off Broadway). By Elizabeth Irwin. Directed by Chay Yew. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 35mins. No intermission. My Mañana Comes: In

  1. 416 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, fourth floor
  2. $25–$35
  3. Sat Sep 20
More info

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. Sat Sep 20 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Riverrun

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Irish actor Olwen Fouéré joins BAM's Next Wave festival with an abstract piece that channels the splash and tumble of the river in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

  1. 321 Ashland Pl, between Hanson Pl and Lafayette Ave, 11217
  2. $20
  3. Sat Sep 20
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. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Dec 28
More info

To the Bone

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

To the Bone. Cherry Lane Theatre (see Off Broadway) By Lisa Ramirez. Directed by Lisa Peterson. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 5mins. One intermission. To the Bone: In brief Lisa Ramirez's

  1. 38 Commerce St, at Seventh Ave South
  2. $40
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sat Oct 4
More info

The Valley of Astonishment

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

The Valley of Astonishment. Theatre for a New Audience (see Off Broadway). Written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. With Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni, Jared McNeill. Running

  1. 262 Ashland Pl, between Fulton St and Lafayette Ave
  2. $60–$85
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Oct 5
More info

The Wayside Motor Inn

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

The Wayside Motor Inn. Pershing Square Signature Center (see Off Broadway). By A.R. Gurney. Directed by Lila Neugebauer. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission. The Wayside Motor

  1. 480 W 42nd St, at Tenth Ave
  2. $25, after Sept 21 $55
  3. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Oct 5
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.