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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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  • Suffs

    There's one moment in Suffs that will make you want to get up and raise your fist. It's early on in Act One, during a 1913 protest where over 5,000 women, wearing white, marched on Washington to demand the right to vote. In real life, suffragist and lawyer Inez Milholland led the procession astride a white horse, wearing a crown and cape. Suffs impressively recreates that moment, with the powerful Phillipa Soo coming out on a full-size replica of a horse as she sings "women of the country" as...

  • Confederates

    Dominique Morriseau's Confederates is a spicy comedy that dissects the intricacies of racism that Black women are expected to endure. The recently opened production at Signature Theatre does so by framing the experiences of two Black women struggling through systems of white supremacy across two periods of time. We open with Sandra (Michelle Wilson, queenly and sage), a Black, tenured political science professor calling for an investigation into a racist image — her face photoshopped on the body...

  • Help

    If there was ever a show that speaks to the current moment, it's Help. Or perhaps speaking the current moment is a better phrasing. It's almost uncanny that Claudia Rankine first premiered the very urgent Help at The Shed in 2020, before history's most seismic racial reckoning erupted across the U.S. and the world. The show feels very much like a product of that reckoning, not least of all because real-life political moments feature heavily in the script. They're as recent as Ketanji Brown...

  • At the Wedding

    There's a celebration going on at the Claire Tow Theater in Bryna Turner's At the Wedding, and you're invited to bear witness to the... despair? After our wedding-crashing antihero, Carlo (Mary Wiseman) kicks off the event with a bitterly funny, fourth-wall-breaking monologue about the inevitability of soul-crushing heartbreak, a bridesmaid berates her in the next scene for making the event's youngest guests cry with her spiel. Yes, you're unwittingly put at the kid's table, from which you get...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

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