Best Off-Broadway Shows this Winter

Posted January 10, 2020

Some of the best off-Broadway theaters in New York City are found right here in Greenwich Village. The Village has long been a haven for artists, writers and musicians. In fact, many of our local theaters helped to shape American literature and drama as we know it today. Discover six Greenwich Village show houses here!

We are hunkering down for a long winter, and in the mood for something fresh. So, let us take you on a tour of New York City’s coolest shows. Our staff at Washington Square Hotel have been busy researching your best bets for winter entertainment in the city, and here’s our top ten picks for this season’s off-Broadway shows. To keep it super easy for you, we checked run dates, critics’ reviews, and ticket availability.

Before you pick your show and seats, we’re including the answer to that common query: What is the difference between a Broadway and an Off-Broadway show? According to the theatre enthusiast go-to source, Playbill.com, it has more to do with the intimacy of the venue than the location. Playbill reports that although originally many theatres were found on Broadway, only The Broadway, Marquis, and Winter Garden remain today. By today’s standards, “Broadway” shows appear in theatres with 500 seats or more, while “Off-Broadway” shows typically house smaller crowds between 99-499 seats.

Fortunately for our WSH guests, the bulk of these shows run in nearby venues. Why not book a weekend away with us this winter? After all, live theatre is the perfect ticket to replacing that winter chill with the warm glow of the footlights!

Wait! Before you dive into our off-Broadway top ten list, consider checking out this one-of-a-kind, immersive theater experience. Only 15 audience members are admitted to Lewis Carroll’s dreamscape asylum in the wildly imaginative production of Then She Fell. Learn More.

Our Top Ten Off-Broadway Picks (alphabetically)

Drunk Shakespeare
Open Run / The Lounge / 777 8th Avenue

You’ve never seen Shakespeare performed quite like this! You’ll be wondering if you’ve stumbled upon a drunken dress rehearsal or a Shakespearean play with this New York Times Critics’ Pick. Join a troupe of actors who convene in a library setting as members of "The Drunk Shakespeare Society." The cast imbibes as they perform roles from the Bard’s major works. Alcohol is served, so audience members must be 21 and above to attend.

Gazillion Bubble Show
Open Run / New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street

This one-hour-plus bright and bubbly stage show is sure to be an uplifting experience for any age. Gazillion Bubble Show is the brain storm of Guinness World Record holder, Fan Yang, whose family stars in this stunning performance; creating mind-boggling airborne soapy sculptures that float above the audience to a choreographed laser light show with an impressive musical score.

Jersey Boys
Open Run / New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street

An oldie, but a goodie, this Tony Award winning show tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and includes their hit songs: “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), “Sherry,” and “Walk Like a Man.” It’s a must for band fans!

Little Shop of Horrors
Through 3-8-20 / Westside Theatre / 407 West 43rd Street

The New York Times called this show’s return to the stage “A triumphant delicious revival.” Find out what happens when a poor and lonely human partners with a blood thirsty plant to feed his greed in this time-tested and humorous musical.

Perfect Crime
Open Run / The Theater Center / 210 50th Street

Touted as the longest-running play in New York City history, this theatrical thriller combines humor, romance and suspense as the audience strives to solve the perfect crime. The show opened in April 1987 and has been performed more than 8,000 times, so it’s a safe bet guaranteed to please!

Rock of Ages
Open Run / New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street

Labeled a “fan favorite” by Timeout.com, you can expect to hear rock classics including Europe’s "The Final Countdown,” Journey’s "Don't Stop Believin’," and Starship’s "We Built This City." Like the 2012 feature film, this live jukebox musical transports you to a 1987 West Hollywood Sunset Strip where a cast of starry-eyed fame-seekers unite in an attempt to save the legendary Bourbon Room.

Stomp
Open Run / Orpheum Theater / 126 Second Avenue

Called a “long-running institution” by the New York Times, this show has been enjoyed by millions worldwide since opening in 1991. Utilizing everything from brooms to trash cans, this pounding performance combines choreography, light and sound as audience members feel the rhythm of the city.

The Imbible—A Spirited History of Drinking
Open Run / New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street

Both educational and entertaining, this whimsical tale details the science and the history of our 10,000 year relationship with alcohol. Sit back and enjoy a cocktail while Anthony Caporale humorously covers the cultural and political background of booze to the accompaniment of the Backwaiters acapella group. Broadway.com hails it as an immersive theatre experience unlike any other.

The Office! A Musical Parody
Open Run / The Theater Center, Midtown West/

With successful parodies of Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 under their belt, Bob and Tobly McSmith, joined by composer Assaf Gleizner take on “The Office” as their latest Off-Broadway television spoof. The memorable monologues spoken aside in the TV series are combined with classic musical theatre, creating the prefect recipe for side-splitting entertainment.

The Play That Goes Wrong
Open Run / New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street

The Play That Goes Wrong takes a worst-case scenario and turns it into hilarity when everything that could go possibly go wrong—seemingly does. A production falls apart while the cast attempts to perform a lackluster whodunit as the show becomes a comedy of errors. This winner received a Tony Award while appearing on Broadway, and audiences continue enjoying its Off-Broadway run.

In addition to the show links above, you can find out more about performances, dates, times, and cost of tickets at the following websites links: Broadway.com, NewYorkCityTheatre.com, Timeout.com and NewYorkTheatreGuide.com.

Fear not, if our picks weren’t your theatre preferences, there are plenty more shows listed on all four of the above ticket sites!