Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Jack and the Beanstalk

Taking place in medieval England, the musical makes some wacky additions to the classic childhood story. In the show, Jack climbs the fabled beanstalk, only to find a friendly, lovable Giant and a tap-dancing Golden Goose. Along the way, he encounters his long-lost father and a villainous Baron... read more

The Cherry Orchard

On a frosty May morning while the cherry trees are in bloom, impoverished Russian aristocrat, Mrs. Ranevsky, returns to her decaying ancestral home with her daughter, Anya. Mrs. Ranevsky is heavily in debt and still grief-stricken by the premature death of her son five years earlier. Her financia... read more

H.M.S Pinafore

Since its premiere in 1878, Gilbert and Sullivan’s wildly popular operetta H.M.S. Pinafore has delighted audiences with a nautically-tinged story of star-crossed lovers. The gentlemanly Captain Corcoran of the good ship Pinafore has a daughter, Josephine, who is in love with a lowly but gallant... read more

Otello

Based on the famous play by Shakespeare, Verdi’s Otello follows the story of the happy couple, Otello, the governor of Cyprus and Venetian general, and Desdemona as they are dragged through an evil plot constructed by Iago. Iago is the slighted ensign of Otello, who has been passed over for a pro... read more

Tartuffe

Controversial and popular from the time of its release, Moliere’s Tartuffe remains a biting satire aimed at religious hypocrisy. When the kind, yet dim, Orgon invites the religious zealot known as Tartuffe into his home, he has no idea that he has accepted a snake into his den. While Tartuffe ac... read more

All My Sons

All My Sons, Arthur Miller's first commercial success, tells the story of an American family caught up in the struggle between personal responsibility and duty to their country. Joe Keller, a successful, self-made man has done a terrible thing: during World War II, hurriedly trying to meet an ord... read more

Reefer Madness

The show is a hilarious satire based on the old instructional film seen in school warning of the dangers of marijuana. The over-the-top, campy story begins with a Lecturer informing the audience of the new drug menace, Marijuana. He tells the Harper Affair a story of a young high school student w... read more

Whistle Down the Wind

Based on the book of the same title by Mary Hayley Bell, and later produced as a movie in the hands of Richard Attenborough, Whistle Down the Wind is set in a small, deeply religious town in Louisiana of the 1950s. A poor farming family led by father, Boone, and his three children--Swallow, Brat,... read more

Leading Ladies

Set in the 1950s, Leading Ladies focuses on two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, who find their careers in a rut. They are currently performing "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is abou... read more

After the Revolution

Emma Joseph, a bright, hard-working, recent law school graduate descended from a long line of Marxists, is continuing her family’s business of fighting for progressive ideals. She founded the Joe Joseph Fund four years ago, named for her grandfather who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for... read more