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Your independent guide to the best shows in New York

Off Broadway Shows in New York - May 2017

Our carefully curated selection of the Best Off Broadway Shows in New York for the month of May 2017

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One of New York's longest-running shows, the Blue Man Group is a little hard to describe, but we'll give it a go! Take a healthy dose of percussion, mix it in with some vaudeville, a pinch of cutting edge technology, and half a teaspoon of comedy, and you've got... well, the Blue Man Group! Guiding you through this multi-sensory, alternatively amazing and hilarious show are three blue-painted performers, who don't seem to have too much knowledge about life on earth. More info

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: Closes 4th June 2017

A true landmark of New York theater, The Fantasicks is a breezy musical with a sweet and inventive score that's guaranteed to capture your heart. A classic coming-of-age story, The Fantasticks originally opened Off-Broadway in 1960, and ran for an incredible 42 years, playing a record-shattering 17,162 performances​! This current revival started in 2006. One of the most child-friendly shows currently running in New York, this classic is a relatively small scale show with a huge heart! More info

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One of the city's most unique live experiences, Stomp has been thrilling New York audiences for over twenty years. This ear & eye-popping show consists of a group of eight incredibly talented performers, who create intricate rhythms from everyday household objects, from garbage can lids and zippo lighters, to buckets and hammers. More info

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Avenue Q is a provocative and subversive coming of age tale told with puppets. Think Book of Mormon meets Sesame Street. Running Off-Broadway since 2009, this three-time Tony-winning institution centers on the character of Princeton, a recent graduate in English, who makes a whole bunch of colorful new friends when he gets an apartment on Avenue Q. More info

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No one in the news is safe! Not to be confused with the Disney musical NEWSIES, this Drama Desk-nominated revue NEWSical is back lampooning current events, newsmakers, celebreties, and politicians - in short, everyone is fair game. With songs and material continually updated to take advantage of the top news stories, composer-lyricist Drama Desk Nominee Rick Crom's topical musical comedy is an ever-evolving mockery of all the news that is fit to spoof - and then some. More info

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In this case, the title really says it all! Naked Boys Singing is New York's most risque musical comedy, and it's a whole load of fun! Don't expect any Chippendale-type antics at this show - this is a traditional musical revue packed with talented singers, and fact that they're gorgeous and seem to have misplaced all their clothes sees almost inconsequential...almost. More info

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: Closes 31st May 2017

The Tuskegee Airmen were leading lights in the fight for integration and social equality. They were African American men brought together under the Army Air Corps program in the build up to WWII, a time when Jim Crow laws were still operating in many states. One of Off-Broadway's longest running shows, Black Angels Over Tuskegee tells their story with wit and heart, painting a realistic portrait of six men from the 99th Pursuit Squadron. More info

: Closes 25th June 2017

The phenomenon that is Derren Brown makes his American theatrical debut this year in with a brand new show. The Olivier-winning psychological manipulator has been wowing audiences across the pond since 2000 with his startling mentalism, high-key illusions and manipulations, delivered with jaw-dropping skill and trademark dry wit. Prepare to be spellbound by the talents of this consummate showman whose previous feats have included playing Russian Roulette on live television, convincing members of the public to willingly carry out a bank heist among many other unbelievable, controversial antics. More info

: Closes 3rd September 2017

After the big scale illusions of David Copperfield, and the intimate street magic of David Blaine, the next step in the evolution of magic arrives at the Daryl Roth Theatre. In and Off Itself is a wholly original blend of illusion and storytelling, a series of interconnected stories woven together with magic tricks that don't just aim for a 'wow' moment, but seep into your brain and alter your perception of reality itself. More info

: Closes 24th June 2017

Matthew Perry, best known for his stint as a loveable neurotic in a small sitcom called Friends, brings his first play to New York after 2016's London debut. A dark comedy about four broken souls who set out to shatter their demons once and for all, expect Perry's trademark wit to shine through in this bittersweet story of yearning and attempted recovery, directed by Lindsay Posner. More info

: Closes 25th June 2017

Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Hall takes the lead in this New York premiere of Clare Lizzimore's disturbing psychological thriller, which first appeared on stage last year in Washington DC. Following the mental struggles of a young housewife, she is convinced that something lurks within the walls of her new home. Isolated, lonely and desperate to regain a life long-since diminished due to social anxiety, Rachel must navigate through a set of disturbing visions with the help of her loving husband Tom, her patient therapist, and a third man who she is strangely attracted to. More info

: Closes 11th June 2017

One of the most innovative and surreal new musicals around lands Off-Broadway, after runs in Seattle, New Brunswick and Boston. Written by Tony winner Joe DiPieto and scored by Valerie Vigoda and Wade McCollum (of the musical trio Groovelily), Ernest Shackleton Loves Me employs a dazzling mix of lighting, dynamic set design and projections to tell the story of the unlikely romance between the famous Arctic explorer and an out-of-work single mom. More info

: Closes 4th June 2017

Suzan-Lori Parks' devastating, Obie-winning re-imagining of the fateful journey to Europe by Sarah "Saartjie" Baartman heads to the Signature Theatre this April. Helmed by by Obie Award winning director Lear deBessonet (The Winter's Tale), the cast will star Randy Danson, Adam Green, Birgit Huppuch and Obie Award winner Zainab Jah. First performed in 1996, Parks' play remains a stalwart part of African-American theater, and an important part of racial history and dialogue on both sides of the Atlantic. More info

​Following their collaboration on the Pulitzer Prize nominated Becky Shaw, playwright Gina Gionfriddo and director Peter DuBois re-team for Can You Forgive Her? Closing out Vineyard Theatre's 2016/17 season, this new play takes money as its central theme, allowing Gionfriddo to explore our desire for financial security and American society's levels of income inequality with her trademark wit and dark humor. More info

: Closes 25th June 2017

Musical comedy Baghdaddy makes a welcome return off-Broadway this April for a strictly limited run at St Luke's Theatre. First staged in 2015, most of the show's originating cast will return for this revival, including Brennan Caldwell, Jason Collins, Bob D'Haene, Brandon Espinoza, Joe Joseph, Olli Haaskivi, Claire Neumann and Larisa Oleynik. Taking place in a deserted church basement, the show takes on the appearance of a support group, with those attending all in some way responsible for starting the Iraq War. Sparks will fly, and realizations borne out of confrontation! More info

: Closes 1st July 2017

Charles Ludlam's suspense-filled comedy drama brings a whole new meaning to sleeping with the fishes. Set in a run-down pet store, we follow the exploits of a dysfunctional family headed by Chester Nurdiger. Living in the back with his bored wife and critical mother, every day is one of drudgery. However one day, a mysterious drifter called Zachary Slade arrives in the store, and sparks fly between him and Chester's wife. Oblivious to this, Chester offers him a job out kindness. However he hasn't bargained on them plotting his murder - at the hands of the store's piranha fish! More info

: Closes 9th July 2017

The new play from Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Robert Schenkkan (All the Way), Building the Wall is one of the first theatrical works to address the election victory of Donald Trump. Set in 2019, this tense two-hander explores the creeping banality of evil, and how dangerous political rhetoric can translate into previously unthinkable real world actions. More info

: Closes 25th June 2017

A.A.Milne is best-known for his iconic stories about Winnie The Pooh, but did you know that he also authored a play? The Lucky One was first performed in 1919; 98 years later it is being revived with a respected cast at the Mint Theater Company, and directed by Jesse Marchese. Following the fractious relationship between two adult brothers who have lived very different experiences of success, tensions boil over in a combustible confrontation that makes them question their familial ties and their own lives. More info

: Closes 28th May 2017

James Cagney as you've never seen him before! This tap-happy musical follows the life of Hollywood's most famous tough guy, from his early days as a vaudeville song and dance man to movie superstardom. The original production played the York Theatre last year, where it was extended after its limited run sold out. More info

: Closes 31st December 2017

An intimate version of Sondheim's bloody classic, this Sweeney Todd puts the audience up close and personal with the demon barber, and gives you a chance to sample some of Mrs Lovett's infamous pies (if you dare). Created by the Tooting Arts Club, this inventive production won huge acclaim in London, and was even visited by Stephen Sondheim himself. More info

: Closes 16th July 2017

After wowing at the Williamstown Theatre Festival last year, Cost of Living makes it New York Premiere courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club. Written by Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Cost of Living follows a set of four characters dealing with physical disabilities and heavy emotional baggage. More info

: Closes 25th June 2017

Inspired by the classic Disney movie, Mary Poppins brings one of the greatest musicals to the stage in a joyous show for all the family. Written by Oscar-winning Downtown Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, it re-introduces us to the magical nanny who shows the Banks family what's really important in life. More info

Following in the footsteps of hit comedy-edutainment shows like Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl and Colin Quinn's Long Story Short, The Imbible sweeps audiences along a 10,000-year journey through history and across the globe accompanied by craft cocktails and the vocal stylings of The Backwaiters acapella group! More info

Join Mentalist Sam Eaton on an extraordinary exploration of mentalism, magic, perception and deception are fused together with entertainment and humor each night to bring you a show unlike any other. Prepare to have your mind expanded by his incredible talents taking you to the very edges of what you thought was possible! More info

: Closes 28th May 2017

Fusion Theatre presents a bold new staging of Antigone, that fuses the powerful tale of rebellion with selections from five operas. The cast, all of whom are opera singer as well as stage actors, are led by Eilin O'Dea, who also directs. Among the opera pieces featured are works from Verdi and Purcell. More info

: Closes 28th May 2017

Josh Charles' fans rejoice, for everybody's favorite, tragic lawyer from The Good Wife makes a welcome return to the stage, in a world premiere play by Annie Baker. Joined by a roster of stars from both screen and stage included Will Patton, Phillip James Brannon, Josh Hamilton, Emily Cass McDonnell and more, the production is helmed by Lila Neugebauer, fresh from directing the successful Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. More info

: Closes 29th June 2017

The Marvelous Wonderettes returns to Off-Broadway in 2016 after a gap of five years. A sunny jukebox musical whose score is composed of 1950's and 60's girl group classics, this new production stars Christina Bianco (Application Pending) and Emmy-nominated Kathy Brier (Hairspray). More info

: Closes 4th June 2017

A political satire that's just ripe for the picking in the current climate, this acclaimed comedy from Los Angeles makes its New York premiere this March at New World Stages. A whip-smart commentary on "plain speaking", social media and political spin during an election, we follow the aftermath of one such player who decides that his best bet to win is to break all the rules - not unlike somebody else we know in real life. Art imitating life, indeed.... More info

: Closes 3rd September 2017

Popular off-Broadway musical Sistas returns to the St Luke's Theatre! is a nonstop celebration! Produced by three-time Tony winner Hinton Battle and directed by Smash's Kenneth Ferrone, the production follows five women as they prepare to bury the matriarch of their family. Truths, memories and relationships come to the fore, sometimes welcome, sometimes not. Bring your best gal pal, your sister, your mother, even your aunt for this celebration of female family. More info

: Closes 11th June 2017

At its best, musical theatre takes on difficult and even repellent subjects, and illuminates them through nuanced storytelling and intelligent lyricism. Premiering in San Diego last year, Jonathan Larson's musical takes on Bacha Bazi​ - the practise by which young Afghansitani boys are sold to as 'dancing boys' to wealthy older men, who dress them up in women's clothing, train them to dance, and often sexually abuse them. More info

Guinness World Record holder Fan Yang has been amazing Off-Broadway audiences since 2007. Featuring fantastic next-level laser lighting displays, and a great musical score, The Gazillion Bubble Show is an hour plus of unbelievable soapy masterpieces, which float above the audiences heads in their hundreds and even fully enclose some lucky volunteers. More info

One actor has at least five shorts of whiskey and attempts to perform a Shakespearean play in a hilarious and totally unpredictable evening! More info

Perfect Crime goes well beyond traditional mystery play. It is a sexy, compelling thriller, with well-timed surprises and laughs that relieve a growing dramatic tension. The main character is a Harvard-educated psychiatrist accused of bumping off her wealthy British husband. But when a handsome young detective comes calling to investigate, is everything as straight-cut as it appears? More info

In this interactive comedy, mingle with mobsters and molls while enjoying a delicious dinner. More info

Join THE RIDE for a super amped-up experience of the streets of New York City - all from the comfort of a technologically-advanced super-bus. See life in the Big Apple as you have never seen before! More info

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