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Off-Broadway Reviews

Read the latest New York Off Broadway reviews on New York Theatre Guide. Discover more information on Off Broadway shows in New York City and beyond. New York Theatre Guide employs multiple critics to ensure a diversity of opinion about Off Broadway shows currently playing. Learn more about recent and past Off Broadway show reviews from New York Theatre Guide. Visit the Broadway page to read Broadway theatre reviews.

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  • "Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes..." The immediately recognizable "Seasons of Love" appropriately kicks off Without You, the theatrical memoir of Anthony Rapp, who originated the lead role of Mark in Jonathan Larson's groundbreaking rock musical Rent. To Rapp's credit, he makes what could be a painfully cliche opening feel genuine, as though the song was written only yesterday. It's a freshness that only an original Rent star could give a 30-year-old tune. That's also the...

  • A collection of blackboards, some covered with artwork and others with words like “persona,” is a clue that school is in session. The teacher turns out to be the class clown. That instructor is standup comedian Colin Quinn. His presentation is Small Talk, a fun, brief, and minor addition to his roster of compact observational monologues. The ex-Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” anchor’s past solo stage pieces have covered global studies in Long Story Short, our polarized nation in Red State...

  • We all know comedy equals tragedy plus time. But how much time? It varies. To deal with losing his beloved boyfriend suddenly to Covid-19, New York comedian Sam Morrison churned his anguish into grist for stand-up. The result is Sugar Daddy, his cleverly constructed tell-all – or thereabouts – that is punchy and poignant, despite some rough stretches. Grief isn’t neat and tidy. The same goes for this show that has landed off Broadway following a run at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Think...

  • Does anyone still pinky swear? While watching the often stirring Merrily We Roll Along led by Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe, and Lindsay Mendez, that question keeps popping up. It has each time I’ve seen the show on stage – and this version makes four since 1994. In 1981, this Stephen Sondheim musical started out as a dud, but it also introduced some of the composer/lyricist’s most enduring songs — “Not a Day Goes By” and “Good Thing Going” among them. The three stars' repeated interlocking...

  • A Christian church, however progressive, is perhaps one of the most antithetical places to have a sexual awakening. That, or to have a fall from grace. But in Julia May Jonas's Your Own Personal Exegesis, both happen on a collision course at Redacted] Church in [Redacted], New Jersey. A lot of things are redacted in Exegesis besides the church's name — the last names of every character, for one, in the church bulletin we're provided alongside the show's regular program. It's the first indication...

  • As you settle in at Lloyd Suh’s The Far Country, you’ll see a figure seated on stage. Facing away from the audience and still as a statue, he’s been perched there since the audience was allowed in. He sits. And sits. And sits. This staging suggests detention and waiting figure prominently in this intriguing yet sometimes elusive drama about people from Taishan, China, whose lives intertwine to form a family. In 1909 San Francisco, stone-faced officials grill Gee (Jinn S. Kim, the pre-show...

  • I, for one, would love all classic plays to be irreverently recapped by Deirdre O'Connell as Becky Nurse, the heroine of Sarah Ruhl's latest play at Lincoln Center Theater. Becky, a guide at a Salem, Massachusetts witch museum, might not like that quite as much. After regaling a high school tour group (read: the audience) with her take on The Crucible in Becky Nurse of Salem's spellbinding opening scene, she's seen lamenting to the bartender Bob (Bernard White) that she hates her job. As luck...

  • David Cale's new one-woman thriller, Sandra, promises a globetrotting (well, from the U.S. to Mexico) mystery that lures its title character into ever-increasing danger. On paper, that's true. But this Vineyard Theatre production, while it might make an absorbing novel, doesn't quite thrill as theatre, feeling less like a journey through choppy waters and more like a steady cruise. The play opens with Sandra (Marjan Neshat) relaying a conversation with Ethan, her best friend, in which he says:...

  • To get right to the point: Harrison David Rivers's the bandaged place has no cuts or holes that need bandaging up. Every plot point, every character, every moment in this nearly perfect new play, presented by Roundabout Underground, has been stitched together perfectly. It will make your heart bleed in many different ways; it is a thoughtful and excellent meditation on the long and winding road to healing. The story centers on a dancer named Jonah, who just got out of a physically and...

  • Downstate, the thoughtful and thorny drama by Bruce Norris, author of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Clybourne Park, is built on a plot structure as conventional as can be. A knock on the door and the arrival of an outsider turns the delicately, if not precariously, balanced world on the other side of the threshold upside down. But who comes knocking and who’s inside the door is anything but run-of-the-mill in this skillfully acted Playwrights Horizons presentation directed by Pam MacKinnon....

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