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.


Adoration of the Old Woman

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

Adoration of the Old Woman. INTAR Theatre (see Off Broadway). By José Rivera. Directed by Patricia McGregor. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission. Adoration of the Old Woman: In

  1. 500 W 52nd St, at Tenth Ave, 10019
  2. $28
  3. Thu Apr 24 - Sun Apr 27
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. Wed Apr 23 - Wed Dec 31
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Buyer & Cellar

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

[Note: This is a review of the original production at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. The show has now moved to the Barrow Street Theatre. Christopher J. Hanke repaced Urie on March 18.] Theater

  1. 27 Barrow St, at Seventh Ave South
  2. $75
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Aug 31
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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 this month

  1. 158 W 72nd St, between Columbus Ave and Broadway
  2. $35–$60 plus two-drink minimum
  3. Sat May 3 - Mon May 5
More info

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

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

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna. Citi Field (see Off Broadway). By Fernand Rainville. Directed by Diane Paulus. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. One intermission. Amaluna: In brief After

  1. Roosevelt Ave, at 126th St, 11368
  2. $55–$100, premium $145
  3. Thu May 15 - Sun May 18
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Fiddler at 50: Fiddler on the Roof

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Linda Lavin, Len Cariou, Tovah Feldshuh, Andrew Rannells, Leslie Uggams, Joanna Gleason, Clint Holmes, Kate Baldwin, Stephanie J. Block, Jane Monheit, Christina Bianco and Tori Scott are among the

  1. 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. $150
  3. Mon Apr 28
More info

Heathers: The Musical

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

Heathers: The Musical. New World Stages (see Off Broadway). Book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe. Directed by Andy Fickman. With Barrett Wilbert Weed, Ryan McCartan. Running

  1. 340 W 50th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. $75–$95
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Sep 7
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The Heir Apparent

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

The Heir Apparent. Classic Stage Company (see Off Broadway). By David Ives. Directed by John Rando. With Carson Elrod, Paxton Whitehead, Suzanne Bertish. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission. The

  1. 136 E 13th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. $65–$125
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun May 11
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. Wed Apr 23 - Sat Jun 21
More info

La Soirée

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

La Soirée. Union Square Theatre (see Off Broadway). With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission. La Soirée: In brief The team behind the 2006 Spiegeltent spectacular Absinthe returns

  1. 100 E 17th St, between Union Sq East and Irving Pl
  2. $49–$130
  3. Thu Apr 24 - Sun May 11
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London Wall

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

London Wall. Mint Theater Company (see Off Broadway). By John Van Druten. Directed by Davis McCallum. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 40mins. Two intermissions. London Wall: In brief In John

  1. 311 W 43rd St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, third floor
  2. $55–$65
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sat Apr 26
More info

Murder for Two

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

McGinn/Cazale Theatre (see Off Broadway). Book by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair. Music by Kinosian. Lyrics by Blair. Dir. Scott Schwartz. With Jeff Blumenkrantz, Brett Ryback. 1hr 30mins. No

  1. 340 W 50th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. $87, premium $117
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Jul 6
Buy tickets

The Mystery of Irma Vep

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

The Mystery of Irma Vep. Lucille Lortel Theatre (see Off Broadway). By Charles Ludlam. Directed by Everett Quinton. With Arnie Burton and Robert Sella. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission. The

  1. 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. $60–$75
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun May 11
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. $150–$175, premium $275–$500
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Stage Blood

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Jesse Berger and his Red Bull Theater get energized with star-studded readings of classics and their reinventions. Charles Ludlam's Stage Blood is on the agenda for Apr 28, starring Carson Elrod,

  1. 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. $40, premium $60
  3. Mon Apr 28
More info

The Country Wife

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Jesse Berger and his Red Bull Theater get energized with star-studded readings of classics and their reinventions. Charles Ludlam's Stage Blood is on the agenda for Apr 28, starring Carson Elrod,

  1. 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. $40, premium $60
  3. Mon May 5
More info

The Alcestiad

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Jesse Berger and his Red Bull Theater get energized with star-studded readings of classics and their reinventions. Charles Ludlam's Stage Blood is on the agenda for Apr 28, starring Carson Elrod,

  1. 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. $40, premium $60
  3. Mon May 19
More info

Tales from Red Vienna

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

Tales from Red Vienna. Manhattan Theatre Club (see Off Broadway). By David Grimm. Directed by Kate Whoriskey. With Nina Arianda, Michael Esper, Kathleen Chalfant. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. Two

  1. 131 W 55th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. $95
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Apr 27
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. 195 Maujer St, between Graham Ave and Humboldt St, 11206
  2. $95–$135
  3. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Jun 29
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.