Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

Read expert-written show guides with context, plot, characters and video examples.

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The Color Purple

Based upon Alice Walker’s acclaimed novel of the same name, The Color Purple is the epic tale of 40-years in the life of a family in rural Georgia. At its center is fourteen-year-old Celie. When Celie is forced by her abusive father to marry a cruel farmer, called “Mister,” she is separated fro... read more

We Will Rock You

Taking place in the distant future, the story of We Will Rock You exists predominately as a framework allowing the cast to perform covers of Queen's greatest hits. Earth's name has been changed to Planet Mall. Everyone wears the same clothes, thinks the same thoughts and goes about in a brain-dea... read more

Sweet Charity

Charity Valentine is the eternal optimist. While working at the seedy Fan-Dango Ballroom, she is often exploited by men, and has been strung along in a series of bad relationships. Nonetheless, she always holds out hope -- and she seems to have finally met a decent fellow in Oscar. Concerned tha... read more

All Shook Up

Built around the songs made famous by Elvis Presley, All Shook Up tells the story of a small town girl with big dreams and the motorcycle-riding stud she falls for. read more

Wild Party

Based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 poem of the same name, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party tells the story of a vaudeville dancer named Queenie and a vaudeville clown named Burrs--her passionate and violent lover. Queenie is fed up with the life she lives and the pain Burrs puts her through, so sh... read more

Honk!

Based on Hans Christian Andersen's beloved story, "The Ugly Duckling," Honk tells the story of an odd-looking baby duck, Ugly, and his quest to find his mother. Soon after Ugly is born, he is seduced away by a wily Cat who wants to eat Ugly for dinner. Eventually, Ugly manages to escape, but has... read more

Schoolhouse Rock

Tom, a nervous school teacher about to start his first day of teaching, tries to relax by watching TV when various characters representing facets of his personality materialize from the set. These characters show him how to win his students over with imagination and music. At first Tom thinks the... read more

Side Show

Based on the true story of conjoined twins and famed entertainers Violet and Daisy Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about acceptance, love, and embracing one’s uniqueness. As the starring act of a sideshow, helmed by an abusive ringmaster, Violet and Daisy Hilton are eager to accept an o... read more

Brigadoon

When New Yorkers Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas get lost on a vacation in the Scottish Highlands, they stumble into Brigadoon. Brigadoon is a mythical village that, they learn, appears for a single day once every hundred years. At first, Tommy and Jeff are mystified by the villagers’ 18th cent... read more

On the Town

With the pomp and fanfare of New York City, the brassy lyricism of Leonard Bernstein, and the sweet immediacy of a day of freedom during a time of war, On the Town is an American classic, beloved both for its moment in history and for its timeless qualities of youth and exuberance. The show follo... read more