5 Off-Broadway Shows for Spring 2023

Amber C. Snider

While the venues may be smaller than those of Broadway, Off-Broadway has launched plenty of hits, including Rent, Hamilton and Hadestown, and routinely brings cutting-edge theater to the stage. This season’s selection of Off-Broadway shows tackles big themes in the cultural zeitgeist: queerness and class struggles in the 1980s South, toxic masculinity and xenophobia among them.

We’ve selected a few performances sure to pique your interest, including the witty tale of five sisters in the throes of a sweltering Brooklyn summer, a rarely seen Tennessee Williams revival and an “intoxicating” one-man show. Read on to plan some upcoming nights at the theater.

Note that proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry; however, masks are encouraged. For more information, visit our Coronavirus Information and Resources page.

Dog Man: The Musical

March 4–April 30

For some family-friendly fun, head over to New World Stages to see Dog Man: The Musical, an amusing adventure based on the beloved series of children’s books by Dav Pilkey. Part dog, part man and all hero, the crime-fighting character Dog Man tries to save the city from evil cats and cyborg fish, all while still managing to be the “goodest boy” ever. The wholesome musical, which features lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila (Peg + Cat, Altar Boyz), is good for kids of all ages and runs for just eight weeks this spring.

For fans of: Dr. Seuss, children’s adventure stories, general silliness

Drinking in America

March 10–April 8

Written by three-time Obie Award winner Eric Bogosian, this restaging of Drinking in America explores what it means to be a man in today’s America, unpacking themes like toxic masculinity and male fragility. The comedic one-man show stars Bronx-born actor Andre Royo (best known for his performance on HBO’s The Wire), who takes on over a dozen characters from different walks of life and at varying degrees of intoxication. Theatergoers can expect social satire refitted for our contemporary culture—the piece debuted way back in early 1986—during the revival’s four-week run at Greenwich Village’s Minetta Lane Theatre.

For fans of: tragicomic monologues, HBO’s The Wire, armchair therapy

Día Y Noche

March 18–April 15

This new coming-of-age story set in 1984 centers around queerness, class struggles, sex and punk rock in El Paso, Texas. Directed by Carlos Armesto, Día Y Noche follows two friends––Martin (a Black band nerd grappling with his sexual identity) and Danny (a Chicano punk-rock kid with dreams of becoming an artist)––as they navigate the trials of growing up in the South and their mutual search for acceptance. Written by actor David Anzuelo, this bold 90-minute production by Labyrinth Theater Company will run at 59E59 Theaters for four weeks. Note: Contains nudity, violence, strong language and sexual content.

For fans of: LGTBQ+ stories, mismatched friendships, punk rock

Bernarda’s Daughters

May 2–June 18

Co-produced by National Black Theatre and the New Group, Bernarda’s Daughters focuses on the five Abellard sisters, each grappling with their father’s death, personal losses of youth and a rapidly changing (gentrifying) Brooklyn neighborhood. In playwright Diane Exavier’s contemporary spin on Federico Garciá Lorca’s 1936 play The House of Bernarda Alba, the siblings are confined to their family home during an unbearably hot summer in Flatbush. The eight-week show, directed by Dominique Rider and playing at the Signature Center’s Linney Theater, is sure to be a moving exploration of family, race and sisterhood.

For fans of: family sagas, witty banter, NYC life

Orpheus Descending

July 9–August 6

In this woman-led revival of a rarely seen play by Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending tells the tragic love story of an itinerant guitar player and a shopkeeper’s wife set in the Jim Crow­ era of the Deep South. Starring Christopher Abbott (Charlie in the HBO hit series Girls) and Maggie Siff (Billions, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men), the play centers around the pair’s passionate love affair while unearthing xenophobia, racism and an unsettling, violent American past. The show runs at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, near BAM in Fort Greene.

For fans of: doomed love stories, historical dramas, a night of theater in Brooklyn