When most people think of New York City theatre, they think of the flashy lights and big names of Broadway.
But the truth is that the entire city is brimming with quality theatre for all audiences! In fact, the term ‘Broadway’ as we know it today just means the theatre can hold more than 500 people–it has nothing to do with the quality of the show going on inside! Check out the five theatre companies below for some incredible performances that may be off the beaten track.
Home to five different performances spaces in its convenient midtown location, New World Stages is a superb option to see Off-Broadway shows! Numerous productions have found their second life at New World Stages, including the Off-Broadway productions of Avenue Q, Jersey Boys, and Rock of Ages. There are shows for every age group at New World, so if your family can’t decide what to see, you can all still head over to 50th and 8th to find a great variety package all under one roof.
For an experience like no other, don’t be afraid to venture downtown to the Orpheum Theatre. STOMP has been running at this East Village location for over
25 years and its unique blend of percussion and acrobatics makes this show a crowd pleaser for audiences worldwide. This intimate space is located on a strip of 2nd Avenue that is overflowing with unique bars and restaurants. Grab a pre-show cocktail at literary hotspot and bar KGB or a sweet snack at New York City’s famed Vanleeuwen Ice Cream just around the corner.
Many people have heard of Roundabout Theatre Company. Their famous revivals of Cabaret and She Loves Me are cherished pieces of theatre. But did you know that this non-profit theatre company actually has five spaces around the city? One of those spaces is their Off-Broadway complex, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center. Located just off of Times Square at 46th and 6th, this venue houses both the Laura Pels Theatre and Roundabout’s Underground space, a playground for up and coming young playwrights. Adam Gwon’s legendary show Ordinary Days got its start in this underground space and his latest work, Scotland PA is finishing its run at the upstairs theatre, the Laura Pels. Who knows what new work you might get to experience with a visit to the Steinberg Center!
Famed launchpad of A Chorus Line and Hamilton, The Public is another downtown location to catch the hottest new shows. With five theatre spaces and a cabaret venue inside, The Public has a variety of options to choose from. It’s also home to The Library, a swanky spot for dinner and drinks before the show. Don’t forget to step outside the building and take a moment to enjoy the historic exterior before you go home.
For a truly unique experience, visit the site-specific shows produced by Out of the Box Theatrics. Though each show is a relatively short run, you’ll find star-studded casts and non-traditional casting that brings each piece to a new height. Like many young, Off-Broadway companies, OOTB has a strong point of view and a lot to say. Their shows are sure to get you thinking, whether it’s a well-known favorite like You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown or a brand new play like last summer’s premiere of The Pink Unicorn. If you feel inspired to participate in the art, look for OOTB’s monthly open mic night while you’re in town.