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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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  • Richard III

    This year's Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard III is not, by definition, an immersive show. But in the stands of the Delacorte Theater, we're not invisible spectators, either. You might not realize it until the play's second half, but you, the audience, are tasked with two(!) roles: of the ruthless King Richard's knowing confidantes and his unsuspecting subjects. Lines like "By his face, you know his heart" elicit laughs, since Richard repeatedly cajoles other characters only to...

  • Hamlet

    The expansive new production of Hamlet at Park Avenue Armory opens with screens. Horatio, Bernardo, and Francisco see the ghost of the recently dead King Hamlet not in person, but through a feed of security cameras, the images warping as the king flashes in and out. This gigantic screen — and the others on either side of the stage and throughout the house — brings home that this Hamlet is about surveillance. The characters are always being watched, by the cameras, by each other. And when you are...

  • 53% Of

    In light of Friday's SCOTUS ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and its protection of abortion rights nationwide, Steph Del Rosso's semi-satirical political drama 53% Of now inches closer to a horror play. The show kicks off in December 2016, and in 2022, where it could just as easily be set, it reminds us of the grave, lasting effects of that election. That said, it shouldn't take a catastrophic ruling for a play to pack a punch. 53% Of is assembled from a collection of political talking points...

  • Titanique

    The new Off-Broadway musical Titanique has a cast and creative team of Broadway vets. But they, led by director/co-writer Tye Blue, also share a background doing pop parody musicals and dinner theatre in LA. This is the cozy, campy world from which Titanique hails, and it's now docked here on the East Coast through September. Don't go expecting a piece of high art or a faithful recreation of the James Cameron film it's based on, but do expect a titanic amount of pure joy.You'll get that vibe...

  • Epiphany

    Lincoln Center Theater's Epiphany begins with an ominous rumbling that's so mighty it might measure on the Richter scale. Dishes and glasses on the set clink and chatter. The effect seems to set the stage for something of enormous magnitude. Don't hold your breath. Brian Watkins's intriguing, but ultimately blurry and low-impact, group portrait inspired by James Joyce's The Dead emerges more like an artistic exercise or theme and variation on that famous 1914 short story than a fully satisfying...

  • Corsicana

    In the program note for his new play, Corsicana, playwright Will Arbery writes that he wanted to only write, "Corsicana is a small city in Texas. This play is about four people who live there." In that spirit, I'll summarize his show just as simply: An adult brother and sister have lost their mother. Through a family friend, the brother connects his sister with a local artist/songwriter, hoping them writing a song together will help her cope.The minimal plot leaves room for a delicate character...

  • soft

    One of the most well-known songs in the 1967 tribal love-rock musical Hair is a ballad called "Easy to Be Hard" whose lyrics are, "How can people be so heartless? / How can people be so cruel? / Easy to be hard / Easy to be cold." That song, sung by a woman to a man, points to how when it comes to masculinity, being hard and unfeeling is the default. And as dramatized by Donja R. Love's moving new play soft, the pressure to be hypermasculine is even more pronounced among Black boys, where...

  • The Bedwetter

    Sarah Silverman's pungently irreverent and profane brand of comedy makes the leap into musical theatre with her funny but uneven new show, The Bedwetter.If a fifth grader belting about pee and impersonating Oscar winner Sally Field cutting the cheese makes you LOL, then you may really, really like this Atlantic Theater Company production. There's more bathroom humor on tap — considering the title, of course there is. Drawn from Silverman's 2010 memoir, the taboo-toppling star is all over the...

  • Snow in Midsummer

    Complain as we might about the rapidly rising New York heat, getting snow in midsummer would be a nightmare. So, too, is it in New Harmony, China in Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's play of the same name at Classic Stage Company, albeit for much graver reasons than needing to dig out your extra layers. Snow in Midsummer backloads and occasionally overextends its drama, but it's a mostly suspenseful watch based on a time-honored story.Cowhig's show is an adaptation of The Injustice to Dou E that Touched...

  • …what the end will be

    In ...what the end will be, an always earnest but seldom subtle play about three generations of gay, Black men living together in Atlanta, a recurring image nods to the power of scent to trigger memories. To recall the late love of his life, the elderly patriarch Bartholomew Kennedy (Keith Randolph Smith) holds the deceased man's boxers to his nose. It's a startling stage picture.That said, audience members seeking a whiff of nuance or insight in this Roundabout Theatre Company production will...

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