10 Off-Broadway shows worth seeing this holiday season

WWRY NA 2019 – Photo 27 (2-167)
A scene from “We Will Rock You.” (Photo by Randy Feere)

With the holidays fast approaching and a number of prominent Broadway shows currently in the wings, Off-Broadway companies are rushing to continue their new seasons before attention temporarily gravitates elsewhere. Below are 10 new shows outside of Broadway, including, interestingly, two big musicals one would expect to find on Broadway.

‘We Will Rock You’

Countless jukebox musicals have played New York over the past two decades in the wake of “Mamma Mia!” but oddly enough, not “We Will Rock You,” which ran for years in London. The Queen jukebox musical, which imagines a dystopian cyberspace future of rebels and tyrants, is finally receiving its New York debut at MSG as part of a national tour.

Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, ticketmaster.com. Nov. 14-17,


City Center is launching its new season with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1979 rock opera about the rise to power of Argentinean first lady Evita Perón, which bears more than a few parallels to modern-day politics. In an unusual move, the role of Evita is being played by actresses at once.

City Center, W. 55th Street between 7th and 6th Aves., nycitycenter.org. Nov. 13-24.


Peter Dinklage, who will probably be identified with “Game of Thrones” for the rest of his life, returns to the New York stage with a musical adaptation of the fairy tale romance “Cyrano de Bergerac” in which he plays the title character – but without a giant prosthetic nose.

Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 E. 15th St., thenewgroup.org. Through Dec. 22.

Peter Dinklage in “Cyrano” (Photo by Monique Carboni)

‘A Bright Room Called Day’

One year following the starry Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s masterwork “Angels in America,” Kushner debuts a new version of his first play, which contrasts 1980s American politics with Weimar Germany.

Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., publictheater.org. Through Dec. 15.

‘The Crucible’

Bedlam, a small company that that won acclaim for its intimate and inventive adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility,” takes on Arthur Miller’s Salem Witch Trial drama/political allegory “The Crucible,” which received an experimental Broadway revival just three years ago.

Connelly Theater, 220 E. 4th St., bedlam.org. Through Dec. 29.

‘Fires in the Mirror’

Playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith, who is best known for her documentary-style one-person shows based on first-hand interviews, begins her residency with Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre with a revival of “Fires in the Mirror,” which explores tensions between the African-American and Jewish Orthodox communities in 1991 Brooklyn following a tragic death.

Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., signaturetheatre.org. Through Dec. 15.

‘Dr. Ride’s American Beach House’

Dr. Sally Ride’s historic 1983 space flight is revisited in Liza Birkenmeier’s new drama, in which four women sit on a rooftop in St. Louis express their own wishes in spite of the lack of opportunity in their lives.

Greenwich House, 27 Barrow St., arsnovanyc.com. Through Nov. 23.

‘The Underlying Chris’

The enigmatic and experimental Will Eno, whose many bewildering dramas have included “Thom Pain” and “The Realistic Joneses,” returns with a new work that apparently involves an investigation of identity, individuality and personal change.

Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., 2st.com. Through Dec. 15.

‘Measure for Measure’

Following a citywide tour of such places as correctional facilities and homeless shelters, the Public Theater’s new production of Shakespeare’s dark drama “Measure to Measure” (reset to Mardi Gras circa 1979) will receive a three-week Off-Broadway run of free performances.

Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., publictheater.org. Nov. 18 to Dec. 8.

‘Broadbend, Arkansas’

This new two-person musical, which spans three generations over half a century, begins with an African-American family living in the 1960s South and facing the turbulent political issues of the period and then jumps forward in time to an incident of police brutality.

Duke on 42nd St., 229 W. 42nd St., transportgroup.org. Through Nov. 23.

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