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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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  • The Cast of The Hot Wing King

    The Hot Wing King, a tasty new work by Katori Hall at the Signature Theatre, comes in three flavors. As directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, it is a classic buddy comedy with friends and lovers involved in bouts of physical tomfoolery and good-natured ribbing. It is also a honey-glazed drama seasoned with uncertainty and dipped in guilt. And it is a hot take on sons and fathers, biological and otherwise, in black America, featuring a fiery Off-Broadway debut by Cecil Blutcher as a teenager looking...

  • Deirdre O'Connell in Dana H.

    Dana H., the harrowing docudrama currently unspooling at the Vineyard Theatre, is a one-woman show performed by two women. As adapted by playwright Lucas Hnath, an audiotape featuring the writer's mother is lip-synced by a riveting Deirdre O'Connell and together the intertwined ladies relate a tale that is as full of duality as the staging itself. It is both a monster story and a survivor's account, with a villain as super-human as he is inhuman. It is a chronology of a kidnap victim held in...

  • Debbie Christine Tjong, Freddy Hall, Ximone Rose & Janelle McDermoth in We're Gonna Die

    We're Gonna Die by experimental playwright Young Jean Lee isn't really a play or a musical. It's more akin to a cabaret act than anything else. There's a band with a central performer who sings and tells stories about their life to the audience between the songs. And in fact, when the piece premiered in 2011, it was at Joe's Pub and was performed by Lee's band Future Wife with herself in the central performer role.Ms. Lee is known for challenging herself to write about the thing she most wants...

  • Moses Villarama, Joe Ngo, Courtney Reed & Abraham Kim in Cambodian Rock Band

    "Surviving is important, but thriving is elegant." - Maya AngelouSurviving and thriving are in ample supply at Pershing Square Signature Center, where a triumphant new Signature Theatre production of Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band (now one of many) is taking Off-Broadway by storm.It began as a commission from South Coast Rep in 2015 sent Yee to churches, malls, and food courts all over Orange County. And, incidentally, to a local Cambodian music festival, where she was introduced to Cambodia's...

  • Elise Kibler & Kara Young in All the Natalie Portmans

    All the Natalie Portmans, an imperfect but affecting play at MCC Theater about one family's experience of loss, poverty and alcoholism examines an African American family in crisis, disintegrating slowly, against the backdrop of structural racism.Samuel (Joshua Boone), his 16-year old sister Keyonna (Kara Young) and their oft absent mother Ovetta (Montego Glover) live crammed into a small basement apartment. Ovetta works nights as a housekeeper at an hotel, making just enough to scrape by....

  • Aaron Yoo, Laura Kai Chen & Edward Chin-Lyn in The Headlands

    Reconciling our childhood views of our parents with our adult understanding of the world can be some of the hardest and most important work we'll ever do as human beings. Throw an unsolved murder into the terra decidedly not firma of childhood memory and you have the set up for Christopher Chen's absorbing new play The Headlands, currently premiering at the Lincoln Center Theater at the Claire Tow.The stage is a bare white box except for a black rectangle in the middle that acts as a bench. The...

  • Stanley Townsend in Incantata

    The idea itself — making a 45-stanza poem about the poet's lost love into a drama — is ambitious at best.The alchemy required to render Paul Muldoon's elegiac poem Incantata into a theatre piece, and then hang it on the albeit broad shoulders of a single actor, Stanley Townsend, might be a bridge too far. And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure it isn't.This is a challenging bit of theatre, so bring your "A" game. Muldoon's tribute poem, written in 1994, is a conversation (though only the poet...

  • Alexandra Socha & Douglas Sills in Mack and Mabel

    Even the soberest of theater-goer can surrender all hope, for there is no resisting the wildly addictive music and lyrics of Mack & Mabel, the 1974 Broadway also-ran, featuring a tough dose of booze and pills, that launches the 2020 New York City Center's Encores! series. Jerry Herman's inspired score, injected with sparkly classics and lesser known gems alike, is here in glorious health, courtesy of a full-throated company of 30, backed by a 28-piece on stage orchestra.The book though, by...

  • Sheldon Woodley, Jasminn Johnson, John-Andrew Morrison, Khiry Walker & Alfie Fuller in Blues for an Alabama Sky

    It is a little unsettling that Pearl Cleage's Blues For An Alabama Sky set in Harlem in 1930, is so relevant 90 years later in 2020. It deals with the economic uncertainties right after the Great Depression when people were struggling to find jobs and keep themselves and their families sheltered, fed & clothed. It also deals with homophobia and the opposition to women's reproductive rights and agency over their own bodies. Have we really made so little progress in the last 90 years that we...

  • Carla Gugino & Jason Babinsky in Anatomy of a Suicide

    The format of Alice Birch's Anatomy of a Suicide, currently enjoying its US premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company, has been described as experimental. Which surprises me since Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey has been using the three-ring circus format for over a hundred years now. Of course, the circus is not trying to provide a narrative or explore complex familial and societal relationships while Birch is.And therein lies the rub. When you present an audience with three separate...

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