Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


To Kill a Mockingbird

It’s 1935, and racial tensions are high in Maycomb, Alabama. Nonetheless, young Jean Louise Finch -- or Scout, as she is fondly called -- manages to live a rather carefree, privileged existence, insulated from issues of race. All that changes when Scout watches her father, Atticus Finch, defend... read more

A Little Night Music

In turn of the century Sweden, trysts abound. The lawyer Fredrik Egerman has married the virginal 18-year old Anne, with whom Fredrik’s son, the melancholy academic Henrik, has fallen in love. Desiree Armfeldt, a stage actress of great beauty is involved with the buffoonish Count Carl Magnus Mal... read more

Once Upon a Mattress

Our story begins in a faraway kingdom long ago. Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only the prince... read more

South Pacific

Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Based on the anecdotes of a re... read more

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved victorian classic, The Secret Garden, blossoms anew in this enchanting musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. When young Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera outbreak in India, she is sent to live with her uncle, hermit Archibald Cr... read more

Carrie: The Musical

In this revamped, contemporary version of the famous 1988 production, Carrie: The Musical follows a young woman with telekinetic powers. An outcast at school, where she is bullied viciously for her differences, Carrie is also lost at home, with a fervently religious mother whose love traps her i... read more

The Drowsy Chaperone

When wealthy widow Mrs. Tottenham hosts the wedding of the year, she gets a lot more than a write-up in the society pages: Janet Van de Graaff, glittering starlet of Feldzieg’s Follies, is leaving the stage for love, a turn of events which horrifies the angry and anxious Mr. Feldzieg, whose chief... read more

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the story of a an eccentric inventor named Caractacus Potts who, with the help of his children Jeremy and Jemima, sets about restoring an old race car from a scrap heap. Soon, they discover the car has magical properties including the ability to float and take flight.... read more


Based on the novel of the same name by E.L. Doctrow, Ahren’s and Flaherty’s Ragtime is a compelling epic capturing the American experience at the turn of the 20th century. Tracking three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream in the volatile “melting pot” of turn-of-the-century New Yo... read more


Parade tells the heart-wrenching, true story of Leo Frank: a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man living in Atlanta who was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of his thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in 1913. Because Frank’s trial was replete with faulty testimony and lacked any clear evide... read more