The Broadway stage is perhaps the pinnacle for all performing arts. Every show that has been created in the modern era aspires to be showcased on the Broadway stage. The shows currently running on Broadway are some of the most popular theatrical performances in the world, and undoubtedly so. However, if you’re looking for something new and refreshing, a performance lesser known to the masses, Off-Broadway might be the place to head.
On the Off Broadway stage you will find a variety of shows ranging from original creations to new adaptations. It is truly a place for innovation and new ideas. In fact, you might be able to catch a show before it gains global acclaim and see it in its raw authentic form.
Shows such as Hamilton, which is widely believed to be the best musical running on Broadway currently, began its journey from the humble stages on Off-Broadway theatres.
Top 10 Off-Broadway Theatres
Now that you have decided to watch an Off-Broadway show, here are the best places in New York you can catch them!
Mon - Fri : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
3:00 PM to showtime
3:00 PM to showtime
Tue - Fri : 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sat : 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sunday : 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Tue - Sat : 1:00 Pm to 8:00 PM
Sun : 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Mon : 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
Tue - Sat : 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Off-Broadway Theater Seating Sections
Unlike some of the theatres that showcase Broadway productions, Off-Broadway theatres are smaller and have very limited seating. By definition, Off-Broadway theatres are ones that can hold 100 to 400 people. There are certain theatres that can hold up to 800 people and have intricate seating charts.
A majority of Off-Broadway theatres have just an orchestra section as they can hold that many people. Other prosperous theatres such as the Orpheum Theatre and the Astor Place Theatre have a balcony section. Some theatres like the Lucille Lortel Theatre and New World Stage have a mezzanine level as well. Here’s what you can expect from each of these seating sections in off-broadway theatres.
The section that is located right in front of the stage, the orchestra is the most intimate place you can view an Off-Broadway show from. It is usually on the same level as the stage itself as Off-Broadway shows do not have elevated stages. These seats are often the costliest and the central seats are the most coveted seats in the house. However, if you are on the shorter side, it might suit you to opt for a seat on the side that would give you an angled view. You can also ask for booster seats.
This section is one that is at a slightly elevated position and offers a higher view of the stage. You get a panoramic view of the stage from this view. The central part of the mezzanine offers the most spectacular view of the show. These seats often cost the same as orchestra seats. The first two rows of the mezzanine are arguably better than the front seats of the orchestra.
These seats are unlike that of the traditional sense in Broadway theatres. Often in Off-Broadway theatres, you will notice that balcony seats are in fact on a mezzanine level. If the theatre does not have both a mezzanine and balcony, chances are you will get a great viewing experience from the balcony.
Some theatres only have a single option and it is advisable to get seats as close to the stage as possible.
Know Before Picking Your Seats
- Choose a seat that is close to the stage, especially if it is a drama or comedy. It will help you listen to the dialogues better.
- For musicals the farther the better. It allows you to immerse yourself into the entirety of the stage and its set.
- Mezzanine seats are always a good option, especially the first few rows.
- Balcony seats are usually cheaper than orchestra and mezzanine seats, this might be good when you are watching a musical.
- Theatre seats for Off-Broadway are not cheap and neither are they easy to come by, so book online to get the best deals.
Best Restaurants near Off-Broadway Theatres
There are many options to dine in and around the theatre district. These are some of our picks and are located in close proximity to a majority of Off-Broadway theatres.
Check out our top picks for the best theatre district restaurants in NYC.
More Broadway Guides
For more Broadway information, here are some helpful quick links!