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12 Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows for the Holidays

As Paper's resident Broadway baby, everyone is always asking me what shows their friends and family who are in town for the holidays should see. There is no theater recommendation that leaves me stumped: "Is there anything you'd suggest for my little sister's boyfriend's cousin who has a David Blaine obsession?" Neil Patrick Harris' off-Broadway magic show Nothing to Hide, duh. Here are twelve other suggestions for your loved ones during this holiday season. Enjoy!

After Midnight 

Tickets to this show will make almost everyone on your list happy but especially your cousin from Iowa who is obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance. Several of the cast members in the show - -a dance-heavy trip through Duke Ellington's days at Harlem's famed Cotton Club -- were featured in the reality TV dance competition. As a bonus reality show-related thrill, American Idol winner Fantasia is also starring in the show through February 9th. Click here for tickets.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder


This show, about a young British lad who finds out he's eighth in line to be Earl and plots to take down every comically horrible heir in his way (all played by the amazing Jefferson Mays), will be perfect for your NPR-loving aunt and uncle in town from San Francisco. Click here for tickets.  


Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 4_58_37 PM.jpg 

Your baby boomer parents will appreciate tickets to see this brand new musical about Carole King's early career as a song writer with her ex-husband Gerry Goffin. Starring the soon-to-be full-fledged Broadway diva Jessie Mueller, the early buzz is that it's one of the better jukebox musicals to open in years. Click here for tickets. 

Bad Jews

This hit off-Broadway show is closing December 29th but it would be the perfect pre-holiday outing for all your friends who have crazy relatives -- which is, of course, everyone. You'll also get a live preview of the new guy on Girls, Michael Zegen, before the hit HBO show's third season starts in January. Click here for tickets.

Kinky Boots

Featuring a drag queen in fierce red boots played by the Tony-winning Billy Porter and music by the Legendary with a capital "L" Cyndi Lauper, this is the perfect show for your best friend who is usually too busy hosting club nights at the Standard or Marquee to see a Broadway show. Click here for tickets. 

Richard III / Twelfth Night

These productions played in repertory starring the Tony-winning Mark Rylance as the conniving King is just like they did it in Billy Shakes' day (all-male casts, Globe-style stadium seating) making it the perfect choice for your godparents who let you stay at their Upper West Side apartment in their doorman building while they're wintering in Florida. Click here for tickets.  

Waiting for Godot / No Man's Land

Your Buzzfeed and Twitter addicted friends who have been following Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen's blog-friendly bromance will love seeing them star in the repertory productions of these classic Beckett and Pinter plays. Just make sure they know that there's no tweeting during the show! Click here for tickets.  


Diane Paulus' Tony-winning circus-infused production of Stephen Schwartz's trippy 1970s musical is delightful, especially when experienced by a true theater fan. It's perfect for your beloved high school choir director or drama teacher's annual trip to NYC with his beard. Click here for tickets.  

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

Your new boyfriend/girlfriend's niece is coming to visit New York with his/her judgmental sister, but two tickets to this magical, musical fairy tale starring Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes will get her on your side real quick.  Click here for tickets. 
First Date

It may seem cliche, but a holiday date night seeing this under-appreciated, clever musical about a couple on a blind date is a jolly good time. Plus it stars Zachary Levi, the hot nerd from Chuck. Click here for tickets. 

The Commons of Pensacola

This Off-Broadway play by actress Amanda Peet, about the wife of a jailed financier and her shamed daughter, played by Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, respectively would be a nice treat for your younger cousin who, high on Sex and City re-runs, decided to pick up and move to New York and pursue a career in fashion PR. Click here for tickets.

La Soiree

Is your good friend getting married on NYE and you're stuck planning her bachelorette over the holidays? This sexy circus spectacular that features a shirtless bathtub acrobat will be a great start or end (they have showtimes at 7pm or 10pm on Saturday) to the night. Click here for tickets.  

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