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Where To See Off-Broadway Shows In NYC

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 24 September 2016
Though many people come to New York City for Broadway, the truth is that some of the city’s best shows are performed on smaller, lesser-known stages. While it can’t be denied that Broadway hosts some of the world’s most iconic shows, new and innovative performances are happening all over the city, and they’re worth seeking out. An off-broadway theater is defined as a space that holds 100–499 audience members, so it’s a more intimate experience. Don’t skip Broadway altogether, but if you’re looking for more options, here’s our list of where to see the off-broadway shows in NYC.

Astor Place Theater – Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group may be just as famous as any Broadway production, but the show itself is one-of-a-kind. It takes place in the East Village and involves lots of audience participation and interaction. The blue-painted cast combines music, comedy, and technology to put on a show that denies categorization; you truly just have to see it for yourself.

Astor Place Theater, 434 Lafayette St, New York, NY, USA

New World Stages – Avenue Q

Avenue Q has moved from Broadway to Off-Broadway, and this Tony Award-winning musical is definitely one to see. It’s a hilarious show about a group of 20-somethings trying to navigate their lives in the city, and it tells this timeless story with freshness and wit. There are puppets and some foul language, and it’s known for being gut-bustingly hilarious.

340 W 50th St, New York, NY, USA

Life doesn’t sucka-sucka-sucka-sucka on #LaborDay! #AvenueQ

A video posted by Avenue Q (@avenueqmusical) on

The Lounge – Drunk Shakespeare

Each night, the Drunk Shakespeare Society puts on a Shakespeare play, and one of their actors takes at least six shots of whiskey before the show. Despite sounding like a joke, the show and the concept is absolutely real, and the results are a quirky and funny rendition of Shakespeare in a 90-minute show. The performance space in itself is reason enough to attend; the show is held in a library-like space with over 15,000 books, where the distinction between audience and performance space is blurred.