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Photograph: Aislinn WeidelePublic Theater

Off Broadway shows, reviews, tickets and listings

Here is where to find reviews, details, schedules, prices and ticket information about Off Broadway shows in New York

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman
&
David Cote
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New York theater ranges far beyond the 41 large midtown houses that we call Broadway. Many of the city's most innovative and engaging new plays and musicals can be found Off Broadway, in venues that seat between 100 and 499 people. (Those that seat fewer than 100 people usually fall into the Off-Off Broadway category.) These more intimate spaces present work in a wide range of styles, from new pieces by major artists at the Public Theater or Playwrights Horizons to revivals at the Signature Theatre and crowd-pleasing commercial fare at New World Stages. And even the best Off Broadway shows usually cost less than their cousins on the Great White Way—even if you score cheap Broadway tickets. Use our listings to find reviews, prices, ticket links, curtain times and more for current and upcoming Off Broadway shows.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of Broadway and Off Broadway musicals in New York

NEW OFF BROADWAY SHOWS NOW PLAYING

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • East Village

New York Theatre Workshop playwright-in-residence Victor I. Cazares explores capitalism, technology, immigration, memory and multiple realities in an epic look at an undocumented Mexican family in 1990s America. Theater Mitu's Rubén Polendo directs the world premiere, which features scenic and costume design by Bretta Gerecke; the cast includes Bianca “b” Norwood, Ryan J. Haddad, Raúl Castillo, Elia Monte-Brown and the mononymic Clew.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Noho

Greig Sargeant and Ben Jalosa Williams play James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr., respectively, in a re-creation of the literary lions’ notorious 1965 televised debate about civil rights in front of an English student audience at the Cambridge Union. (The topic: “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”) Conceived by Sargeant with Elevator Repair Service (Gatz), the piece is directed by John Collins; it concludes with an imagined scene, written by Sargeant and April Matthis, between Baldwin and his friend Lorraine Hansberry (Daphne Gaines).

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Lenox Hill

The York Theatre Company, which specializes in musicals, revives its 2021 revue of film songs by Great American Songbook master Irving Berlin. Randy Skinner (42nd Street) directs and choreographs a cast of six in this buffet of song and dance, which draws from movies including Top HatWhite Christmas and Holiday Inn; the book is by Barry Kleinbort, and David Hancock is the music director.

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  • Theater
  • Hell's Kitchen

The French Institute Alliance Française’s 15th annual fall festival, curated this year by Mathilde Augé and Florent Masse, brings an intriguing selection of theater, dance, talks and art to the institution's home base and to sites across New York. The festival celebrates diverse artistic viewpoints from around the French-speaking world. Theater offerings include director Marion Siéfert's _jeanne_dark_ (Sept 14, 15), Felwine Sarr and Étienne Minoungou's Traces – Speech to African Nations (Sept 21), the musical-theater work Freedom, I’ll have lived your dream until the very last day (Sept 24) and philosopher Bruno Latour and director Frédérique Aït-Touati's The Terrestrial Trilogy (Oct 27, 28).

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • West Village

On the heels of a monthlong run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the dry and sometimes potty-mouthed Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss brings a new collection of observational humor to his NYC stomping grounds, SoHo Playhouse, where he has performed six previous engagements. (From September 22–25, the show will be followed by a set by Australia's Rhys Nicholson, whom Sloss is presenting under separate cover.)

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  • Theater
  • Experimental
  • Soho

Core members of the team behind the Wooster Group's fascinating 2017 project The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons”—performer Eric Berryman, designer Elizabeth LeCompte and sound designer Eric Sluyter—reunite for a kind of sequel: a reconstruction of another album compiled by the documentarian and folklorist Bruce Jackson. This time, the emphasis is on the African-American tradition of rhyming epic poems known as toasts, as recorded on the 1976 LP Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me: Narrative Poetry from Black Oral Tradition. Wooster VIP Kate Valk directs the show, which features live drumming by Jharis Yokley.

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Gramercy

You are feeling very…very…funny? In this unique fusion of unpredictable art forms, improv-comedy standard-bearer Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) ad libs scenes with audience members who have been hypnitized by Asad Mecci immediately beforehand. Their show, cocreated with Jeff Andrews, now makes it New York debut after multiple engagements in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.; Stan Zimmerman directs, and Bob Martin serves as creative consultant. (Note: Mochrie will be out of the show through September 28. Seasoned improvisers Stephanie Courtney and Jonathan Mangum will step in for him during that time.)

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  • Theater
  • Chelsea

The Atlantic kicks off its 2022–23 season with the Off Broadway debut of playwright Gracie Gardner, who won the 2017 Relentless Award—the prize set up to honor the legacy of Philip Seymour Hoffman—for her evocatively named play Pussy Sludge. Knud Adams (English) directs the world premiere of her newest work, which is set at a skin-cancer clinic in New York City. The cast includes Gabby Beans, Bartley Booz, Laura Esterman, Glenn Fitzgerald, Peter Gerety, Emily Cass McDonnell, Alicia Pilgrim, Portia and Patrick Vaill.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Hell's Kitchen

Dominic Fumusa and Jessica Pimentel play a couple struggling with their child's serious illness, and Abigail Hawk plays a woman who enters their lives unexpectedly, in Grant MacDermott searching drama. Katie McHugh directs the world premiere for Yonder Window Theatre Company, which aims to foster cross-cultural relationships in the theater world.

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  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • East Village

The queen of bone-piercing absurdist social satire, Kate Berlant—a comedian's comedian whom you might recognize from her appearances on such cult faves as The Characters and Search Party—returns to NYC with a multicharacter solo comedy show. Bo Burnham (Inside), who has long cited Berlant as an influence on his work, directs this limited theatrical run.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s fizzy crowd-pleaser, in which a sassy-yet-dignified drag queen kicks an English shoe factory into gear, feels familiar at every step. But it has been manufactured with solid craftsmanship and care, and the overall effect is nigh irresistible. Three years after the end of its long run on Broadway, the show now returns for an Off Broadway run, with Callum Francis and Christian Douglas in the leading roles. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Rob McClure, Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle star in the latest revival of this dark, tuneful and utterly winsome 1982 horror-camp musical about a flesh-eating plant who makes dreams come true for a lowly flower-shop worker. Composer Alan Menken and librettist Howard Ashman wrap a sordid tale of capitalist temptation and moral decay in layers of sweetness, humor, wit and camp. Michael Mayer directs the feeding frenzy in this deeply satisfying revival.—Adam Feldman

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Luba Mason (Girl From the North Countryand Caesar Samayoa (Come From Away) play a pair of Californians whose lives overlap in suprising ways in this one-act, two-character chamber musical by librettist Ellen Fitzhugh (Grind) and composer Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party). Noah Himmelstein directs the production for Premieres, the musical-theater company best known for its biennial Inner Voices showcase for solo musicals. 

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  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Hell's Kitchen

A ludicrously inept 1970 attempt by the CIA to overthrow the socialist Chilean president Salvador Allende—who would go on to die in a successful coup three years later—is the subject of this political comedy by noted TV writer and producer Mark Wilding (Grey’s Anatomy). Charlie Mount, who directed the play's world premiere in Los Angeles last year, returns to helm the NYC debut with the L.A. cast intact: Presciliana Esparolini, Nick McDow Musleh and George Tovar, as well as Steve Nevil and Michael Van Duzer as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Upper East Side

Fiercely ambitious Asian-American twins plot to kill a classmate who has taken what they consider to be their rightful slot in the college of their choice in Jiehae Park's darkly comedic modern twist on Macbeth. Margot Bordelon directs the production for Primary Stages, which is in residence at 59E59; the cast is composed of Sasha Diamond, Shannon Tyo, Marié Botha, Anthony Cason and Benny Wayne Sully.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Grab the kids and prepare to sweep the clouds away at this live Sesame Street musical by puppet mastermind Jonathan Rockefeller, who wrote and directed the show as well as designed the plush protagonists. Rockefeller is a whiz at translating kiddie classics into sumptuous stage fareand the show features original songs by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Helen Park (KPOP) and Nate Edmondson (Rockefeller's Winnie the Pooh), so we expect them to do right by Elmo, Abby, Grover, Ernie and Bert, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and the rest of the street-smart crew.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Hell's Kitchen

In Carole Buggé's new play, loosely inspired by real events, three scientists traveling to see Michael Frayn's scientist-themed drama Copenhagen concoct an original theory about the Big Bang. Alexa Kelly directs a cast of six: Robyne Parrish, Brian Richardson and Paul Schoeffler as the main trio, plus Jonathan Hadley, Bonnie Black and Russell Saylor as physics superstars Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Max Planck.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Jonathan Hogue's kitschy-eerie musical Stranger Sings!, which began as a pair of concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below and then moved to the Players Theatre for a limited Off Broadway run last year, returns for an immersive encore production at Playhouse 46. Nick Flatto directs a cast of 11 in this topsy-turvy take on the Upside Down. Expect tween angst, silly dancing, low-tech special effects and synth suspense.

 

 

TIME OUT DISCOUNT TICKET OFFER:

STRANGER SINGS! THE PARODY MUSICAL
Winner! Seven Broadway World Awards including Best New Musical!

Save over 25% on tickets!
$49 Mon–Thu (regular price $69) 
$59 Fri–Sun (regular price $89) 

Promotional description: Take a trip back to Hawkins, Indiana: 1983…when times were simpler, hair was bigger and unsupervised children were getting snatched by inter-dimensional creatures. Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical is a hilarious ‘Upside Down’ take on the hit Netflix series—and all its campy 1980s glory. Join Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Dustin, and the whole Hawkins gang for a night of adventure, thrills, pubescent angst, heavy synth, poor parenting, convoluted love triangles, cheap effects, dancing monsters, and maybe, just maybe...justice for everyone’s favorite missing ginger, Barb Holland.

TWO WAYS TO BUY TICKETS:
1. Online: Click here to buy tickets through OvationTix
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Performance schedule: Mon, Tues, Thurs at 7:30pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 4:30pm; Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pm

Running time: 1hr 50mins. One intermission.

Offer subject to availability and blackout dates, and may be revoked at any time. Tickets regularly $39–$99. Discount applies to regular seats only. All tickets include a $1.50 facility fee. Additional service and processing fees may apply. Not valid in combination with any other offers. 

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • West Village

After a brief and well-received run at TheatreLab earlier this year, Rita Kalnejais's romantic drama—abou the connection between two teenagers, a German soldier and a French girl, during World War II—returns for an encore run at the Cherry Lane, directed again by Jack Serio. Youngsters Francesca Carpanini and Uly Schlesinge are joined by two returning elders: Angelina Fiordellisi and the astoundingly busy stage treasure Austin Pendleton.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Chelsea

The songs of Québécois nightingale Celine Dion are the stately vessel—or are they the iceberg?—in this campy spoof of James Cameron's 1997 romantic disaster film, written by stars Marla Mindelle (Sister Act) and Constantine Rousouli (Cruel Intentions) with director Tye Blue. The highly game musical-comedy cast also includes Alex Ellis, John Riddle, Ryan Duncan, Kathy Deitch, Jaye Alexander and Frankie Grande.

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Hell's Kitchen

Two stalwarts of 1970s television, Hal Linden (Barney Miller) and Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat), bring decades of stage and screen experience to this pair of old-fashioned one-act comedies by the accomplished sitcom creator Ed. Weinberger (Taxi). The first playlet is set in Biblical times, the second in modern Long Island. Dan Wackerman directs the show's world premiere.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses, the married singer-songwriter duo known as the Kilbanes, star in an indie-rock musical of their own creation, inspired by a story of sisterly love and sacrifice in Ovid’s MetamorphosesTamilla Woodward directs the Off Broadway premiere, which also features Lila Blue, Kofy Brown, Dan Harris and Joshua Pollock ( all of whom also appeared in the short-film version of the piece that was streamed by WP Theater last year). 

LONG-RUNNING OFF BROADWAY SHOWS

Blue Man Group
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Noho

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 consume Twinkies and Cap'n Crunch; they engulf the audience in a roiling sea of toilet paper. For sheer weird, exuberant fun, it's hard to top this long-running treat. (Note: The playing schedule varies from week to week, with as many as four performances on some days and none on others.)—Adam Feldman

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • Midtown East

Steve Cohen, billed as the Millionaires’ Magician, conjures his high-class parlor magic in the marble-columned Madison Room at the swank Lotte New York Palace. Sporting a tuxedo and bright rust hair, the magician delivers routines that he has buffed to a patent-leather gleam.—Adam Feldman

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Hell's Kitchen

Self-described “bubble scientist” Fan Yang's blissfully disarming act (now performed in New York by his son Deni, daughter Melody and wife Ana) consists mainly of generating a dazzling succession of bubbles in mind-blowing configurations, filling them with smoke or linking them into long chains. Lasers and flashing colored lights add to the trippy visuals.—David Cote

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Musical theater does right by the jukebox with this behind-the-music tale, presenting the Four Seasons’ energetic 1960s tunes (including “Walk Like a Man” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry”) as they were meant to be performed. Ten months after concluding an 11-year run on Broadway, the show returned for an open-ended run at Off Broadway's New World Stages. Under Des McAnuff's sleek direction, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice's biography feels canny instead of canned.—Adam Feldman

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  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Hell's Kitchen

The Canadian performer Katsura Sunshine, billed as the only Western master of the traditional and rigorously trained Japanese comic stortellying art of Rakugo, performs a weekly show at New World Stages after a year in London’s West End. In keeping with the genre's minimalist practice, Sunshine performs in a kimono using only a fan and a hand towel for props. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • Greenwich Village

This proudly old-school series offers a different lineup of professional magicians every week: a host, opening acts and a headliner, plus two or three close-up magicians to wow the audience at intermission. In contrast to some fancier magic shows, this one feels like comfort food: an all-you-can-eat buffet to which you’re encouraged to return until you’re as stuffed as a hat full of rabbits.—Adam Feldman

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  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

A wily cop tries to psych out a possibly homicidal shrink in Warren Manzi’s moldy, convoluted mystery. The creaky welter of dime-store Freudianism, noirish attitude and whodunit gimmickry is showing its age. (Catherine Russell has starred since 1987.)—David Cote

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Hell's Kitchen

Ah, the joy of watching theater fail. The possibility of malfunction is part of what makes live performance exciting, and Mischief Theatre’s farce takes that notion to extremes as six amateur British actors (and two crew members) perform a hackneyed whodunnit amid escalating calamities. Depending on your tolerance for ceaseless slapstick, The Play That Goes Wrong will either have you rolling in the aisles or rolling your eyes. It is certainly a marvel of coordination: Directed by Mark Bell, the mayhem goes like cuckoo clockwork on Nigel Hook’s ingeniously tumbledown set.—Adam Feldman 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Interactive
  • Chelsea

A New York institution since 2011, Punchdrunk’s dark, sleek, gorgeous installation is awe-inspiring in both its size and detail. Silent audience members in creepy white masks are set free in a six-floor labyrinth of wonders, while roving attractive actor-dancers plays out enigmatic scenes inspired by Macbeth and Hitchcock. There are more than 90 different spaces to explore, ranging from a candy shop to a cemetery. There’s no way to absorb it all in a single visit, but that’s all right. You’ll want to go back anyhow.—Adam Feldman

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic

Hosted by Todd Robbins, who specializes in mild carnival-sideshow shocks, Speakeasy Magick is a moveable feast of legerdemain; audience members, seated at seven tables, are visited by a series of performers in turn. Robbins describes this as “magic speed dating.” One might also think of it as tricking: an illusion of intimacy, a satisfying climax, and off they go into the night.—Adam Feldman

 

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Stomp
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • East Village

This shrewd garbage heap of clog dancing, prop comedy and chest-thumping percussion spins out impressive (if numbing) variations on vaudeville by way of English punk.—David Cote

UPCOMING OFF BROADWAY SHOWS

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Noho

Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change) headlines a new production of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 classic about hard times and big dreams in a Chicago South Side household. Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy) steers an ensemble that also includes Francois Battiste, Paige Gilbert, Mandi Masden, John Clay III, Mister Fitzgerald, Calvin Dutton, Perri Gaffney and Jesse Pennington. 

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Gramercy

Douglas McGrath has achieved significant success as the screenwriter of films including Bullets Over Broadway and the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma (which he also directed) and the book writer of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Now he returns to the New York stage as a performer—for the first time in 25 years—in an autobiographical solo show that recounts his coming of age in rural Texas. The actor John Lithgow directs. 

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  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • Boerum Hill

Smith Street Stage proffers a feminist-revolutionary twist on Shakespeare's problematic romance about a sexually repressive regent, a voyeuristic duke and a prim nun-to-be. Beth Ann Hopkins and Raquel Chavez share the directorial duties; Keith Hale, Aileen Wu, Jonathan HopkinsDelia Kemph, Mahayla Laurence and Nic Sanchez are among the cast.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Upper East Side

In Erin E. Adams's drama, set in Martha's Vineyard, Britney Nicole Simpson plays a woman who finds herself haunted by an old ghost story after her brother's accidental death. Tabatha Gayle directs for New Light Theater Project; the ensemble also includes Starr Kirkland, Tai Leshaun, Cherene Snow and Landon G. Woodson.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Greenwich Village

Many have already tried to bring Frankenstein-themed musicals to life, with somewhat limited success, both on Broadway and Off. Now librettist-director Brenda Bell and composer Michael Sgouros venture back into the mad laboratory with yet another adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic monster novel.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • West Village

In this two-hander by Kareem Fahmy, set in a Paris hotel 25 years after the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, the doomed couple's shadow hangs over the unstable marriage of a Wall Street banker and a Hollywood starletAdrienne Campbell-Holt directs actors Rosaline Elbay and Peter Mark Kendall in the world premiere of a play commissioned by her company, Colt Coeur, which has an impressive track record in developing and presenting original work.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Fort Greene

Director Eric Tucker and his taut classical-theater company Bedlam celebrate the troupe's tenth anniversary with a pair of stripped-down classics performed in rep: Henrik Ibsen's protofeminist drama Hedda Gabler (adapted by Jon Robin Baitz), in which a woman in a joyless marriage fans the old flames of cruelty and revenge; and The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's bittersweet portrait of jealousy, love, repentance, angry bears and magic statuary.

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Hell's Kitchen

David Staller, who specializes in the testy oeuvre of master social dramatist George Bernard Shaw, directs a revival of the Bearded One’s 1894 comedy about a humdrum marriage threatened by a dishy young poet. Staller's version moves the action from Victorian London to Harlem in 1929; the sides of the central romantic triangle are played by Avanthika Srinivasan, R.J. Foster and Avery Whitted, with support from Peter Romano, David Ryan Smith and Amber Reauchean Williams.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer behind Hamilton and In the Heights, directs the world premiere of an original musical, cowritten with Ted Malawer, about a royal family's eventful visit to Paris. The score is by British singer-songwriter Kate Nash, who also leads a cast of 26 (!) that includes Gaby Diaz, Hannah Cruz, Ryan Steele, Ryan VanDenBoom, Broadway lifer Terrence Mann (Les Misérables) and the always fabulous Karine Plantadit (Come Fly Away). 

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • West Village

A young woman returns to Turkey to care for her widowed father, and learns the story of his visit to Graceland, in this original musical memory trip by Melis Aker and the brothers Daniel and Patrick Lazour. Machel Ross directs the world premiere at Ars Nova, which commissioned the piece and is copresenting it with PlayCo; the company of actors and musicans includes Olivia AbiAssi, Ashley Baier, Ellena Eshraghi, Mel Hsu, Matt Magnusson, Sahar Milani, Laith Nakli, Jonathan Raviv and Maya Sharpe.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Flatbush

“Think" again: Trejah Bostic pays “Respect"-ful tribute to the Queen of Soul in this touring theatrical concert tribute to Aretha Franklin, directed by Broadway performer Christina Sajous (American Idiot) and music directed by Darnell White. Expect such hits as "Natural Woman," “Chain of Fools" and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.” Meghan Dawson, Nattalyee Randall and Ashton Weeks provide narration and backup vocals.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • East Village

Emmy Award hoarder Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) stars in Classic Stage Company's revival of this mild 2002 musical—by the Ragtime band of Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Terrence McNally—about a closeted gay bus driver in 1960s Dublin who channels his energies into local theater. Departing CSC honcho John Doyle directs the show, which is adapted from the 1994 Albert Finney film; the supporting cast includes Mare Winningham, A.J. Shively, Mary Beth Piel, Alma Curvo, Nathaniel Stampley, William Youmans, Thom Sesma, Joel Waggoner, Kara Mikula, Da’Von T. Moody and Jessica Taylor Wright.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • East Village

The smart, darkly comic cult singer-songwriter Jill Sobule—who had some mainstream success in the 1990s with the Clueless song “Supermodel” and the pre–Katy Perry “I Kissed a Girl”—stars in an autobiographically inspired rock-concert musical about a young queer artist on a turbulent trajectory through the recording industry. The score is by Sobule herself and the book is by Liza Birkenmeier (Dr. Ride’s American Beach House); Lisa Peterson (An Iliad) directs.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Tribeca

Soho Rep kicks off a full season of commissioned works with a new work by Kate Tarker, whose Thunderbodies rumbled the company four years ago. Ariana Venturi and Nadine Malouf play close friends—one American, one Turkish—facing a crisis at home near a U.S. military base in Germany in 2014. Dustin Wills directs the piece, which features original operatic music by Daniel Schlosberg; Dane Suarez and Jacob Orr complete the main cast.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Hell's Kitchen

Mia Chung’s demanding drama seems at first like a family comedy, gently well-observed and rich in sidelong detail; then it takes a sharp turn with the introduction of a terrifying mental illness that seems to rip apart not only the person who suffers from it, but the fabric of the play itself. After Page 73's superb world premiere in 2018, the piece now returns in a completely new production at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Daniel Aukin with an Asian-American cast of three—Cindy Cheung, Jon Norman Schneider and Rob Yang—who play two characters apiece, traversing gender, ethnicity and age.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • DUMBO

The spectacle-happy British director Emma Rice—whose previous visits to St. Ann's Warehouse have included Brief EncounterTristan & Yseult and The Wild Bride—presents a musical adaptation of Emily Brontë's classic gothic novel, so that doomed lovers Heathcliff and Catherine can get their feelings out in song as they fling themselves around West Yorkshire. (Eat your heart out, Kate Bush!) The show, scored by Ian Ross and performed by Rice's company Wise Children, was embraced in London earlier this year. Puppetry, projections and a live band add to the more-is-moors aesthetic. 

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

Force of theater Linda Lavin (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), who made her Broadway debut more than 60 years ago, returns to the stage in this original drama about a young man who hires an elderly woman to break bad medical news to friends and family. Noah Diaz wrote the play while he was at Yale School of Drama; Sam Pinkleton directs the Roundabout Theatre Company world premiere, whose cast also includes Marinda Anderson, Daniel K. Isaac, Nate Miller and Dario Ladani Sanchez. 

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

Holy Moses? The great stage and screen thespian Ralph Fiennes plays Robert Moses—the controversial city planner who was arguably, for many decades in the mid-20th-century, the most powerful man in New York City—in a new play by the venerable British dramatist David Hare (Plenty). The play's action is divided between 1926, as Moses rises to power, and 1955, as the public's resistence to his influence grows. Nicholas Hytner and Jamie Armitage direct the production, which debuted at London's Bridge Theatre this past spring.

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • Greenwich Village

The influential director Anne Bogart and her SITI company are closing up shop this year after three decades of theatermaking. First, though, they are revisiting a few past favorites. In Radio Macbeth, last seen in NYC at Dance Theater Workshop in 2010, Bogart joins forces with sound designer Darron L. West to present a metathetrical radio-play riff on Shakespeare in which actors rehearsing the Scottish play must contend with its unholy ghosts. 

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Fort Greene

Hanya Yanagihara's brutal 2015 bestseller A Little Life traces four college friends over the course of more than three decades. This stage adaptation, conceived by the prolific expressionist superdirector Ivo van Hove (West Side Story) for his company Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, is somewhat shorter—but be prepared to strap in for at least four hours of trauma in multimedia detail. The adaptation is by Koen Tachele, from a translation by Kitty Pouwels and Josephine Ruitenberg; performances are in Dutch with English subtitles.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Upper East Side

The Civilians, one of Off Broadway's most consistently clever and original troupes, offers its latest docutheater production: a group portrait of practicing clergy members, of various denominations, who have stopped believing in God. A cast of seven—David Aaron Baker, Jeff Biehl, Sonnie Brown, Dan Domingues, Nina Hellman, Joshua David Robinson and Richard Topol—performs Marin Gazzaniga's text, which is taken verbatim from interviews conducted for Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola's book Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind. Company honcho Steve Cosson directs.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • East Village

Edward Albee won his first Pulitzer Prize for this unnerving and piercingly eloquent 1966 study of fear, madness, addiction and companionship. This latest revival, staged by Transport Group's Jack Cummings III in partnership with the National Asian American Theatre Company, marks the play's first Off Broadway production as well as the first to feature an all-Asian-American cast: Tina Chilip, Carmen M. Herlihy, Paul Juhn, Mia Katigbak, Manu Narayan and Rita Wolf.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Hell's Kitchen

Will Arbery, whose exceptional Heroes of the Fourth Turning was the best new play of 2019, takes what is sure to be an off-angle look at climate change in a work that focuses on a pair of salt-truck drivers in a suburb of Chicago. Expect a wintry mix of surreal humor and dread. Danya Taymor directs the local premiere for the New Group; Jeb Kreager and Ken Leung play the drivers, with Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Rachel Sachnoff rounding out the cast. 

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Greenwich Village

A Chinese-American father must confront his own history as he tries to build connections with his college-age daughter in a new play by Yilong Liu, one of several writers supported by Audible Theatre's Emerging Playwrights initiative. Chay Yew directs the world premiere, which stars the estimable Francis Jue (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992) along with Ron Domingo, Tim Liu, Geena Quintos, Alec Silver, Ryan Spahn and Jeena Yi. The production will be recorded for subsequent release in audio form. 

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Upper West Side

Deirdre O’Connell, who won a Tony earlier this year for her unforgettable performance in Dana H., plays a modern Massachusetts woman who may be cursed by a witchy ancestor in this new dark comedy by Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play). Rebecca Taichman (Indecent) directs the Lincoln Center Theater production, whose supporting cast includes Bernard White, Candy Buckley, Tina Benko, Thomas Jay Ryan, Alicia Crowder and Julian Sanchez.

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • Fort Greene

The German director Thomas Ostermeier, renowned for his outré Regietheater deconstructions of classic works, returns to BAM's Next Wave festival with his company, Schaubühne Berlin, to spatter mud and glitter on Shakespeare's talky tragedy, where a ghost and a prince meet and everyone ends in mincemeat. As in Ostermeier's wild and unforgettable 2017 Richard III, Lars Eidinger plays the title role in a German translation by Marius von Mayenburg.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Hell's Kitchen

The provocative Bruce Norris has pressed his thumb on cultural bruises in plays including DomesticatedThe Low Road and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Clybourne Park. This drama about cultural pariahs, which premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 2018 before moving to London's National Theatre, looks at a day in the lives of four men convicted of sexually abusing minors. Pam MacKinnon once again directs, and the five men of the original cast—Francis Guinan, K. Todd Freeman, Glenn Davis, Eddie Torres and Tim Hopper—are joined this time by Susanna Guzmán, Sally Murphy and Gabi Samels. 

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and Micaela Diamond (The Cher Show) stars in City Center's fall-gala concert-staging run concert of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's Tony Award–winning 1998 musical tragedy, based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man falsely accused of murdering a young girl in 1913 Georgia. Director Michael Arden (Once on This Island) uses historical photographs and projections to lend documentary gravity to the staging. 

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Noho

As her 2001 Pulizer Prize winner Topdog/Underdog returns to New York this fall on Broadway, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks takes the stage herself to share the fruits of her pandemic writing project: an ambitious effort to write a new play every day, as well as original songs, to chronicle the experience of the shutdown. In this three-and-and-half-hour theatrical concert at Joe's Pub, directed by Niegel Smith, Parks is joined by Leland Fowler, Greg Keller, Orville Mendoza, Kenita Miller, Lauren Molina, Martín Solá and Pearl Sun.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

How do you make Fiddler on the Roof even more Jewish? Do it in Yiddish! Fans of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s landmark musical about a shtetl community in early-20th-century Russia will go meshuga for Folksbiene's version, which lets the characters speak­ (and sing) in the guttural, expressive tongue they would have used in real life. After hit runs in 2018 and 2019, the production now returns for an encore, with Steven Skybell reprising his rich and real performance as Tevye the Milkman.—Raven Snook

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

You’ll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the dazzling Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes and advanced technology have been introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance. Whatever faults one may find with this awesomely lavish annual pageant (it's basically a celebration of the virtues of shopping), this show has legs.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Fort Greene

Displaced Trojans moan themselves hoarse in a new adaptation of Euripides' searing refugee tragedy, conceived and directed by Singapore's Ong Keng Sen for the National Changgeuk Company of Korea (making its BAM debut in this year's Next Wave festival). The text, by Bae Sam-sik, is augmented by music by two composers: Korean Living National Treasure Ahn Sook-sun, a master of the ancient singer-and-drummer storytelling tradition of pansori, and K-pop producer and Parasite composer Jung Jae-il. Performances are in Korean with English subtitles. 

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • East Village

Three major names—Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez—headline a revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's rueful and tuneful cult-fave 1981 musical flop, whose brilliant score is melded to a tricky back-to-front narrative about lost ideals. Maria Friedman, who directed the show's highly acclaimed 2012 production at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, helms this latest version at New York Theatre Workshop. (Tickets go on sale at noon on September 21, and are sure to sell out nearly instantly.)

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