What to see in New York in October
Check out our guide to must-see Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre in October 2021.
Fall is underway and it's time to fall in love with some new theatre — or fall in love with your favorite shows all over again. Broadway's long-running favorites are still going strong, but they're joined by plenty of new plays and musicals, including world-premiere Off-Broadway shows and many offerings with starry casts.
From a musical adaptation of a beloved film to a star-studded show about the making of New York to a critically acclaimed comedy show, October theatre has it all. Check out our list of theatre to see in October 2022, and see our list of New York shows that started in September for even more new theatre you can still catch.
Broadway shows in October
The stars are out on Broadway in October, with multiple highly anticipated new musicals and star-studded plays coming to the big stage. See the Broadway shows starting performances this month below.
Dig music? Then get tickets to Almost Famous on Broadway. Cameron Crowe, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the beloved 2000 film, has adapted his own work into a stage show, so expect all its heart, soul, and rock and roll to remain intact. Crowe's semi-autobiographical story follows an aspiring teenage rock journalist who gets sent on tour with the band Stillwater and quickly gets swept up in the wild 70s rock scene. It's all happening at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre from October 3.
Fresh off an award-winning Off-Broadway run, the musical adaptation of Kimberly Akimbo is now bringing the 90s to Broadway. Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire adapted his own acclaimed 2000 play into a musical with Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori. The show follows Kim, a New Jersey teenager with a condition that makes her age four times faster than the usual person, and she's looking for happiness in a world where time — and a lot of other things — isn't on her side.
Korean pop music has dominated the international music charts, and now the phenomenon is coming to Broadway. This original musical features real life K-pop stars, including Luna of the band f(x) in the lead, and new K-pop music by Helen Park. In the KPOP musical, a host of K-pop stars are making their New York debuts at a one-night concert, but they're hiding secrets about the dark side of the industry that could bring down a major K-pop record label.
Walking With Ghosts
Stage and screen legend Gabriel Byrne has received many awards and nominations for playing other people, but now, he's bringing his own life story to the stage. For two months only, he's performing Walking With Ghosts, a solo show based on his same-named memoir, at the Music Box Theatre. In the show, he talks about the people and events that shaped his life — the "ghosts" of the title, as he still carries with him the lessons he learned from them.
Take Me Out
Scott Ellis's revival of Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out truly hit the home run in 2022. The show sported an all-star cast, led by Jesse Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and won two Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play. Now, with Williams and Ferguson again leading the team, Take Me Out is back for another Broadway inning this fall at a new home base: the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The show imagines what would happen if a baseball pro came out as gay during his career; Greenberg's fictional lead, Darren Lemming, faces both support and withering backlash on and off the field.
Looking for a fun, larger-than-life musical? Look no further than & Juliet, the new musical coming to Broadway after a hit London run. & Juliet is an unofficial sequel of sorts to Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, in which the title heroine doesn't die at the end, but goes on a journey of self-discovery to Paris and learns who she is independent of Romeo. The musical features the award-winning songbook of Max Martin, who wrote hits like "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" and "Oops! I Did It Again." These songs, and plenty more tunes you probably already know by heart, feature in & Juliet.
Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool
Comedian Mike Birbiglia returns to the New York stage with his second Broadway show, The Old Man and the Pool. Combining comedy and storytelling, Birbiglia discusses finding out he inherited his family's history of heart problems — and his reluctance to do the things that would help. That includes swimming, which he'd sworn off years ago thanks to an encounter at a YMCA pool. The Old Man and the Pool includes some deep insights about life and death, but there are plenty of funny punchlines and dad jokes to be had, too.
Off-Broadway shows in October
Go beyond Broadway and discover a new show this month. From celebrity-led plays to new musicals to classic operas, there's an Off-Broadway show for everyone in October.
Straight Line Crazy
Ralph Fiennes returns to the New York stage for the first time since 2006 in Straight Line Crazy, starring as the man who built New York City. He plays the now-notorious Robert Moses, the city planner behind many of the highways, bridges, playgrounds, and more still in use in the city today. Moses has gotten a reputation for racism and power-hunger in recent decades, but David Hare's play explores more deeply how the ideals that propelled him to the height of his career also led to his eventual demise.
Tony-winning Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler is going off Broadway with Only Gold, a new dance musical he co-wrote, choreographs, and directs. Only Gold is set in 1920s Paris, where a royal family arrives and turns the city upside down. Women from multiple classes band together, after watching their men run off to chase their dreams, to buck tradition and chase their own. Blankenbuehler has teamed up with British pop sensation Kate Nash, who wrote the songs for Only Gold and also performs in the show as the narrator.
the bandaged place
Harrison David Rivers's world-premiere play is a story of survival and support. The central character is a man named Jonah, whose journey to healing from abuse gets thrown off track when an old lover reenters his life. He must look to his grandmother and daughter for support, and Jonah's journey to rebuild his relationships with them is his key to true healing. Don't miss this deeply emotional drama at Roundabout Theatre Company.
Where the Mountain Meets the Sea
Pack the car and take a road trip to Where the Mountain Meets the Sea off Broadway. This play follows two journeys, which happen years apart, in parallel: the Haitian immigrant Jean's journey from Miami to California, and his son Jonah's journey in the reverse direction. Their shared travels, and the love of folk music each man finds along the way, draw the father and son together and allow them to connect in ways they were unable to for decades. Folk duo The Bengsons wrote and perform original music live in Where the Mountain Meets the Sea.
You Will Get Sick
In You Will Get Sick, a man receives a life-changing medical diagnosis, but doesn't know how to break the news to his family, so he hires an older woman to do it for him. This arrangement changes both their lives in ways they'd never expect. Tony Award winner Linda Lavin stars in this world-premiere play, after appearing on Broadway more than 15 times and being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
The Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera's season kicks off in earnest in October, with plenty of operas to choose from. Among this month's offerings are Idomeneo, a drama about love and revenge set in the royal court of the Greek island Crete; Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, a tragedy about an unhappy 19th-century Russian wife who, like the title character, opts for murder to change her situation; and Medea, a seldom performed opera adaptation of the classic Greek myth about a vengeful sorceress.
Met Opera classics Tosca, a classic love triangle with a diva at its center, and La Traviata, a tragic romance about a courtesan and a nobleman, return to the famed venue for another season this October, and they're joined by Peter Grimes, a 20th-century opera about the dark secrets in a small fishing town. There's plenty of romance and drama for everyone at the Metropolitan Opera this season — learn more about what to expect at the opera.
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