Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Flower Drum Song

Set in the late 1950s, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song centers on naive immigrant, Mei-Li, who arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown, after fleeing communist China. The young refugee is befriended by Wang, who is struggling to keep the Chinese Opera theatrical tradition alive, despite h... read more

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

How far would a man go to protect his family, his interests, and his legacy? Joe Keller, the patriarch in All My Sons, desperately wants to secure and maintain the financial security and legacy he spent so many years building, ready to hand it down to his surviving son Chris. At the same time, Jo... 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

Cyrano

The great Cyrano de Bergerac is an amazing fighter, a born leader, and fabulous poet. His only flaw is that he was born with a giant nose. While he never shies away from a fight, Cyrano is very sensitive about his looks. He secretly loves the beautiful Roxana but is unable to tell her due to hi... read more