While it may seem that Broadway can steal the headlines of NYC’s Theater District, there’s so much more to be discovered! Beyond the famed marquees and blockbuster productions lies a captivating world of intimate, innovative, and thought-provoking performances that are just good, if not better than the “big names.”
In this list, we’ll run through a few off-Broadway shows that are groundbreaking and deserve your attention.
1. Blue Man Group
The Blue Man Group is a classic show, and one of the best to see with kids as well! The three enigmatic bald and blue men will take you on a multi-sensory experience through their acts of music, art, and dance. Take their rhythmic explosion of colors from their paint drums as one mere example…
Where: Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette St
2. Dracula, A Comedy Of Terrors
Get ready to sink your teeth into a humorous iteration of Dracula story like never before! The 90 minute production is hilarious, and offers a laugh-out-loud recreation of the iconic Count Dracula tale.
When an English real estate agent treks through Transylvania in a journey to meet a new client, they come face to face with the legendary vampire himself. All while famed female vampire hunter Jean Van Helsing comically attempts to drag them back to London.
Where: New World Stages, 340 W 50th St
3. All The Devils Are Here
Tony Award® Nominee and Grammy Award® Winner Patrick Page stars as “the villain of Broadway” according to Playbill in this brand new off-Broadway show, All The Devils Are Here.
In the 1.5 hour long production, Page turns his attention to the twisted motivation and hidden humanity at the heart of Shakespeare’s greatest villains. Diving into over 12 characters throughout his solo show, you get a thrilling look into the evil personas that were created by the famous playwright. This show runs through January 7, 2024.
Where: DR2 Theatre, 103 E 15th St
Ever wonder what happens when Céline Dion hijacks a Titanic Museum tour? Titanique is just that, recharting the course of Titanic’s beloved moments and characters with her iconic song catalog. It’s full of powerhouse vocals, show-stopping numbers, and lots of nostalgia! This show runs through June 16, 2024.
Where: Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 E 15th St
5. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott star as a divorcée with a teenage son and brooding loner who lives with his mother (respectively) in this new gripping drama, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. When the two characters, who are both haunted by their pasts, meet at a bar in the Bronx and compare scars, they uncover some of their deepest truths.
Where: Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St
6. Here We Are
The final musical from Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Company + more) is based on two films about dinner parties gone wrong. The off-Broadway show is at The Shed, and its cast is full of Broadway A-listers including David Hyde Pierce, Micaela Diamond, Steven Pasquale, Bobby Cannavale, Rachel Bay Jones, and more.
Where: The Shed, 545 W 30th St
Chaundre Hall-Broomfield stars as a struggling guitarist who returns to his small Georgia town a blues star. Once rumors begin swirling that he may have made a deal with the devil to acquire his musical talents, it becomes clear he might not be the only one with a secret. This show runs from October 26 – December 3, 2023.
Where: Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 W 46th St
8. Little Shop of Horrors
Seymour Krelborn (Corbin Bleu) stumbles upon a new breed of plant during a solar eclipse that he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. However, the talking carnivore feasts upon blood, which it attempts to get from Krelborn in exchange for unending fame and fortune down the road. As the plant’s appetite for blood grows, the darkly humorous events that unfold get even more dramatic and comically chilling.
Where: Westside Theatre (Upstairs), 407 W 43rd St
9. Drunk Shakespeare
Five professional New York actors meet up for their “The Drunk Shakespeare Society,” including one who is already 5 shots deep of whiskey in. Mayhem ensues when the sober actors try to keep up with the drunk…who attempts to perform a major role in a Shakespearean play. The best part? Every show is different, depending on who’s drinking…
Where: Ruby Theatre, 35 W 39th St
10. The Play That Goes Wrong
Quite literally everything is going wrong in this comedic play that shows the attempt of an opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor. When things go from bad to worse, like an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything…this hilarious disaster is utterly entertaining.
Where: New World Stages, 340 W 50th St
11. The Office! A Musical Parody
Based on the popular sitcom The Office, this musical and immersive parody experience will bring you up close and personal with your favorite characters, and a comedic look right into the Dunder Mifflin office!
Where: The Jerry Orbach Theater, 210 W 50th St, Floor 3
12. Swing State
When Peg, a retired teacher and recently widowed woman in rural Ohio finds her husband’s toolbox is missing, things go haywire. Feuds erupt between neighbors and a full-on fight for land ensues when an attempted overtaking of land by an out-of-state power company occurs. Now, Peg and company have to battle a series of societal and personal politics to get the results she wants. This show runs through October 28.
Where: Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane