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We all know about the top Broadway shows in NYC - there's Wicked, The Lion King or even the Book of Mormon. But off-Broadway shows in NYC can be a fun and exciting opportunity to see fledgling shows before they make it to Broadway, quirky shows that you can't find anywhere else or exciting shows that are shorter than those on Broadway. Off-Broadway theaters are categorized as smaller than on-Broadway theaters and usually seat between 100 and 500. That means that your show will be more intimate and unique than it would be otherwise!

Not only can you find shows off-Broadway that are unavailable anywhere else, but these shows also are often cheaper than most of the shows you can find in NYC. For NYC Tourists looking to extend a budget, enjoying a good mix of bestselling Broadway shows and off-Broadway shows is a great way to enjoy wonderful entertainment and save some money.

At the same time, it's easy to figure out which Broadway shows to go see but it can be much harder to decide on a good off-Broadway show. That's why we have put together our guide to the best off-Broadway shows in NYC! Check out our list of the top 5 off-Broadway shows in NYC that are only on the stage for a few more weeks, as well as our list of the top 5 off-Broadway shows to catch if you're in town later this fall!

5 Shows to Catch Before They're Gone

These shows are only going to be in NYC for the next few weeks, so make sure to go see them ASAP!

  1. Fried Chicken and Latkes: Recently seen in California with rave reviews, Fried Chicken and Latkes is written and performed by Rain Pryor and is a comedic show based on her experiences in the 60's and 70's. The show is also a musical with various songs also written by Prynor and has a serious streak by touching on issues such as racism and religion. Fried Chicken and Latkes NYC is only showing until September 30th, though, so get your tickets quickly! (Actors Temple Theater, 339 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036).
  2. Potted Potter: This hilarious take on the popular childrens' series by J.K. Rowling takes seven books and presents the plot in a 70-minute parody! Whether you're a die-hard Harry Potter fan or not, the jokes and crazy antics of this popular comedy will have you roaring in your seat. This show is great for all ages, so bring the kids along! Potted Potter will be in NYC until September 2nd so make sure to get to this popular NYC off-Broadway show in the next two weeks! (Little Shubert Theater, 422 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036).
  3. Bullet for Adolf: This historical comedy is set in 1983 and starts off with the disappearance of an important WWII artifact. Join three unlikely friends on their dealings with the past in the present. The play is written by Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman and is based on real-life people and events - with exactly the right amount of fiction thrown in for entertainment! This show is playing until September 9th. (Stage 4 New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019).
  4. Zarkana: Cirque du Soleil does it again with this daring and bizarre off-Broadway show. With over 71 international artists, a great score of music and a taste for the unreal, Zarkana follows the journey of magician Zark as he attempts to recover his lost powers. This is a family-friendly show so bring the kids along to be amazed right beside you! Get your tickets soon, though, Zarkana closes in NYC on September 2nd. (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020).
  5. Cougar The Musical: This is one show you might want to leave the family at home for, but adults will be captivated and intrigued the whole way through! In NYC until September 30th, Cougar The Musical tracks the lives of three women who explore the cougar lifestyle and date younger men. The result of their choices is self-love, and acceptance of aging and a growing friendship and trust between the three women. (St Lukes Theater, 308 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036).

5 Shows to Catch This Fall

The following shows are ideal destinations for your autumn trip to New York City. Enjoy upcoming off-Broadway hits!

  1. Forbidden Broadway: This comedy takes all of the best of Broadway, mixes it up and turns it into a hilarious must-see! With a look at some of the most classic Broadway musicals including everything from Porgy and Bess to Spiderman to Death of a Salesman, Forbidden Broadway takes the best parts and adds over-the-top costumes, funny song rewrites and an overall good time. (47th Street Theater, 304 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036).
  2. Blue Man Group: A classic world-famous act, the Blue Man Group has been an ongoing show in New York City since 1991. With a hard-to-describe set of entertainment, the Blue Man Group astounds and captivates audiences every single time. With everything from percussion to theatrics to science, there is nothing in the world quite like the Blue Man Group. (Astor Place Theater, 434 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003).
  3. Fade Out - Fade In: Originally a musical hit in 1964, Fade Out - Fade In is a revival spoof of Hollywood in the 30's during the exciting - and often turbulent - switch from silent movies to "talkies." Follow the story of actress Hope Springfield as she produces a flop of a talkie that ends up as a huge hit! This musical comedy includes superb character sketches of actors of the time and songs that will keep your toes tapping. (Lion Theater, Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036).
  4. Avenue Q: The latest and greatest racy musical in NYC, Avenue Q holds a long standing ongoing performance space off-Broadway. Famous for the use of puppets instead of live-action people, Avenue Q is a satiric look at our modern day society. A witty and often scandalous twist on Sesame Street, Avenue Q has won 3 Tony Awards and has been nominated for a total of ten other theatrical awards! (Stage 3 New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019).
  5. Bare - The Musical: Exploding on the stage this November, Bare - The Musical follows the story of a group of high school seniors at a co-ed Catholic boarding school. With a frenetic rock score and an intensely intimate look at their journey from adolescence to adulthood, Bare gives audiences a dramatic inside look at the struggle to discover identities, sexuality and faith in modern America. (Stage 4 New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019).

Off-Broadway shows are a great opportunity to see the next big hit. Not only do a huge number of off-Broadway shows earn prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, but many off-Broadway hits end up on Broadway itself! Famous musicals such as A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors and Hair got their first start off-Broadway. Imagine being able to say "I saw it before it was a hit!"

So make sure to check out all of the exciting off-Broadway shows playing during your next trip to NYC, you won't be disappointed! Oh and if you'd like to see some of the top Broadway hits too, make sure to check out our comprehensive NYC Broadway list.

Have you been to any of these shows? Do you have tickets already for upcoming off-Broadway events? We'd love to hear from you on our social media pages! Make sure to shoot us a message on our Facebook or Google+.