Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Rags

Rags tells the story of a naive Russian immigrant, Rebecca. She has just come to America with her young son and they struggle to make a life for themselves. While she searches for her husband who arrived earlier in America, she toils in a sweat shop. When she is finally reunited with her husba... read more

Snow White Goes West

In ‘Snow White Goes West’ the classic fairy-tale takes place during the Gold Rush. This time Snow White is pitted against a raucous saloon hall owner, Queenie, and her assistant Sneaky Sam. Of course, all ends well thanks to handsome marshal Joe Prince and the seven Dwarf Brothers . read more

La Traviata

A story of sickness, love, and death, La Traviata follows Violetta, a young courtesan who is ill with consumption as she falls, unwillingly, in love with a young man Alfredo. While she struggles with the fact that she is dying, she falls for him and they escape the city to live together in the Fr... read more

Turandot

The famous tale of Turandot revolves around the cold-hearted Princess of Peking, Turandot, and the young Prince of Tartary, Calaf, who falls in love with her at first sight. Having deemed all men unworthy of her hand, Turandot requires her suitors to answer three riddles correctly, and if he fail... read more

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Based on Italian folk tales of the Nativity and Epiphany, Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors is a retelling of the story of the Magi from the point of view of a young disabled boy named Amahl, who lives in poverty with his widowed mother near Bethlehem. He sees a bright star in th... read more

Amour

In post World War II Paris Dusoleil is an ordinary civil servant. His lazy co-workers are unhappy because Dusoleil is a hard worker who finishes his work early. To pass the time, he writes letters to his mother and daydreams about the beautiful Isabelle. Suddenly, he discovers that he has the p... read more

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika

Perestroika follows on chronologically and plot-wise from Millennium Approaches. It is a complex play that provides a symbolic and fantastical examination of homosexuality, race, and AIDS in 1980s America. The play is made up of eight main characters, all of whom play several other minor characte... read more

The Audience

The Audience takes place between 1952 and the present day. It focuses on Queen Elizabeth II’s private weekly meetings between her and each of her Prime Minister’s throughout her reign. These meetings have never been recorded and their content is unknown. In this innovative, modern play, Peter Mor... read more

The Beggar's Opera

Peachum, a thief catcher, deplores the fact that his daughter Polly is marrying the famous highwayman, Macheath. He arranges for Macheath to be arrested and imprisoned at the prison run by the corrupt wardon, Lockit. Macheath tries to escape by enlisted the help of Lockit's daughter Lucy and pr... read more