Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


The Magic Fire

Otto Berg, an immigrant from Austria, moved to Argentina in the wake of Nazism coming from Germany. There, he married Amalia Guarneri, an Italian whose family fled their home country to escape Mussolini. There, they had a child, Lise. In the far future, as an adult, Lise looks back at her chil... read more

The Maids

In The Maids, Solange and Claire come up with strange subversive rituals while their wealthy employer is away. They fantasize about murdering her in great detail. This is an absurdist play that explores the love/hate relationship that those in servitude might feel. This is also a fictionalized... read more

Major Barbara

Major Barbara explores the conflict between charity and wealth through the lens of the Undershaft family. Barbara, a daughter in the family, is a major in the Salvation Army. Her father, Andrew, is a wealthy munitions manufacturer, whom the rest of the family hasn't seen for 20 years. The conf... read more

Managing Maxine

Managing Maxine is about a senior citizen named Maxine who falls into a romance when she begins dating a retired judge named Arthur. Maxine must deal with her children's uncomfortable reactions towards her late-life dating. Arthur's daughter becomes hostile towards Maxine. She also worries Arthu... read more

Marvin's Room

First produced in 1990, Marvin’s Room tells the story of two sisters, Bessie and Lee. They have not seen each other for many years but when Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, Lee travels to Florida to be tested as a bone marrow donor for her sister. Bessie has cared single-handedly for their fath... read more

The Medea

In a continuation of the stories of Jason and the Argonauts, foreign princess and sorceress Medea has murdered her own father to help Jason win the Golden Fleece and the kingdom of Thessaly. They have married and have two sons. Now in ancient Corinth, Medea is told that Jason will be marrying the... read more

Miss Julie

Miss Julie is perhaps the most famous play in the style of naturalism. It focuses on Miss. Julie, a headstrong yet confused aristocratic lady who has just broken off her engagement. She is drawn to Jean, an enticing and educated valet who works for her father. The action takes place in the kitche... read more

Molly Sweeney

Brian Friel's play tells the story of Molly, a woman who has been blind since infancy, who undergoes an operation to attempt to restore her sight. We hear the story from the perspectives of Molly, her husband, Frank, and Dr. Paddy Rice, as three monologues that are woven together to form a powerf... read more

A Moon for the Misbegotten

A Moon for the Misbegotten is the story of a doomed man’s guilt and the woman who tries desperately to love him. Moon is the sequel to the events in O’Neill’s , and features the elder Tyrone brother as the main character. Jamie Tyrone is now older and much, much sadder than when he was first in... read more

Moon Over Buffalo

It is the summer of 1953, and George and Charlotte Hay, formerly a couple of Broadway stars, have taken their run-down touring company to Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo they have the intention of running “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Private Lives” in repertory, all the while grumbling about missed Ho... read more