An Insider’s Guide to Seeing the Best Off-Broadway Shows in Town

New York City is known worldwide as a hub for theatre, and rightfully so, given the sheer number of Broadway shows that are produced there. However, there’s more to the city’s theatre scene than Broadway, with a wealth of outstanding off-Broadway productions to enjoy. But with hundreds of productions to choose from, selecting the best can feel like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, as an insider into the industry, I’ve got plenty of tips and tricks to share with you for seeing the best off-Broadway shows in town including buying your tickets at a discount at

Check The Reviews

One of the simplest ways to identify the top off-Broadway shows in town is to read theatre reviews. The New York Times and other reputable publications are great sources of critique and guidance. Critics usually provide a rating, which can help you determine which shows are worth your time and money. Don’t forget to read audience reviews, as they can provide additional insights into a show’s quality and appeal.

Look For Award-Winning Productions

Winning awards such as an Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, or Drama Desk Award, is a sign of a show’s quality. These honors are awarded by industry professionals, validating the show’s excellence in acting, direction, design, and other performance or production aspects.

Consider The Theatre Itself

The quality of an off-Broadway show is not just about the performance but also the venue. Some of the lesser-known theatres, such as the Signature Theatre or Classic Stage Company, produce outstanding shows that are worth your time. Notably, some venues have a more intimate atmosphere than others, letting the audience be closer to the performers, adding to the experience of the show.

Consult A Theatre Insider Or Group

For those unsure about what to see, theatre insiders and groups can provide valuable recommendations. Organizations like The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers can give recommendations for off-Broadway plays and musicals worth seeing. Many professional theater groups release newsletters summarizing the city’s most popular shows.

Try Something New And Unique

Very often, the best off-Broadway shows are the ones that are unique or experimental. These shows may not have the big names or budgets of some of the Broadway productions, but the beauty of Off-Broadway is in its rawness and intimacy. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on something that sounds truly original. You might just witness a classic in the making or become a devoted fan of a little-known theatre company.


There’s no doubt that New York City is the cradle of American theatre, especially when it comes to Broadway productions. But the off-Broadway shows are equally exciting, challenging, and refreshing. With these tips, you’re on your way to experiencing the best off-Broadway shows the city has to offer. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the bright lights and big budgets of Broadway because you might just stumble across a gem of a production.

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