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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  • Little Girl Blue

    There's nothing worse than watching a heroic genius, who happens to be a Black woman, emotionally deconstruct on stage. In Little Girl Blue, a new musical inspired by the life of Nina Simone, the pain of an iconic musician broken by an unsupportive family, blatant racism, and rising fame is paraded and set to her own music under the direction of Devanand Janki at New World Stages. Simone, an activist who bravely used her compelling protest songs and soulful voice to lead a worldwide revolution...

    New World Stages
  • Coal Country

    It's difficult to avoid comparing Coal Country to its theatrical relatives. With a no-frills set, a plain-clothed ensemble performing directly to the audience, and music played right on stage (in this case, by composer Steve Earle), the staging brings Come From Away to mind. The exact genre of Coal Country recalls Girl From the North Country: a "play with music" moreso than a musical, in which the songs don't drive the plot, but reinforce the mood of a given moment.But perhaps most surprisingly,...

    Cherry Lane Theatre
  • Photo credit: Shannon Tyo in Ma-Yi Theater Company’s production of The Chinese Lady. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

    The caged bird in Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady carries the full weight of history on her shoulders. Afong Moy, the first-known woman to arrive in the U.S. from China, was presented as a novelty attraction for Americans who paid 25 cents admission. Here, she speaks from behind a gilded frame and through time, exploring her role as an object of cultural exchange while asserting her obvious humanity.It's a double act of history and drama that urgently addresses the present moment, amid an alarming...

    Public Theater
  • On Sugarland

    Hollering is a recurring ritual in On Sugarland. Though wails of grief are certainly part of it, hollering is an act of mourning that overwhelms the whole body. As one character in Aleshea Harris's stirring and untethered new play puts it, a good holler starts in the toes and lives in the belly like a fist. It begins with the stomping of feet and often ends with someone passing out.The funerary custom hits like a gut punch every time in this production from director Whitney White, punctuating...

    New York Theatre Workshop
  • Out of Time

    Memento mori is Latin for "remember that you will die." In Out of Time, a National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) and Public Theater co-production, the transient nature of life is never far from mind. The play features five accomplished Asian American actors, each starring in a monologue by one of five Asian American playwrights. At two and a half hours long in total, most of these monologues could have benefited from stricter editing, but ― memento mori: each performer is over 60 years...

    Public Theater
  • sandblasted

    Holding it together takes on unexpected meaning in Charly Evon Simpson's sandblasted, an offbeat and intriguing play about self-preservation, survival, and sisterhood that's streaked with humor even when the going gets rough. Really rough.That includes when a woman's arm falls off and lands with a disconcerting thud on the ground. Better, on the sand. There's a pile of it on stage at Vineyard Theatre, where the show's setting could be a beach or a desert beneath a sky flecked with fluffy clouds....

    Vineyard Theatre
  • English

    If language is how we tell people who we are, can identity get lost in translation? The humor, frustrations, and consequences of adopting a non-native tongue are the basis of Sanaz Toossi's play English. But the stories it tells also resonate deep beneath the surface, touching on hope, belonging, desire, and what makes people who they are. English is both a buoyant comedy of communication and a subtle but probing exploration of what it means to speak out loud and feel understood. That one play...

    Todd Haimes Theatre
  • Black No More

    The nicest thing I can say about Black No More, the New Group-produced musical at Signature Theatre, is that Tamika Lawrence is giving a Tony and Grammy Award-worthy performance. The cast is uniformly wonderful: Brandon Victor Dixon vamps amusingly enough despite having little actual singing or acting to do as the central Max Disher, a Black man who uses a machine to become white, and Lillias White belts to the rafters as an ancillary character. Sadly, it is all for naught.The music, lyrics, and...

  • Space Dogs

    If a pair of eager-beaver performances and cute overload were enough to make Space Dogs achieve orbit, then this new Off-Broadway musical about canines' ill-starred role in a Cold War throwdown, written by and starring Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, could be categorized as out-of-this-world. But no. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know it takes more, including songs you want to hear again and a narrative with a strong point of view, smarts, and a surprise or two. As is, the show gets tugged...

  • Tambo & Bones

    "It's quite easy to write poorly and have a white person call you powerful," Tambo & Bones playwright, Dave Harris, details in an essay in the play's program. The new production, now open at Playwrights Horizons, proves his point perfectly. The three-act, 90-minute production, directed by Taylor Reynolds, is part minstrel act, part underground rap spectacle, part academic hoopla that throws racial tomfoolery and the n-word in the face of a mostly white audience who take the bait and call it...

    Playwrights Horizons

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