Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man takes place during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian war. Raina Petkoff, a wealthy young woman with a taste for melodrama, is engaged to Sergius Saranoff, a dashing major in the Bulgarian army. On the night of her fiance’s triumph on the battlefield, a soldier in the Serbian army -- a Swi... read more

Baby with the Bathwater

An absurdist, dark comedy, Baby with the Bathwater, starts with new parents John and Helen staring lovingly at their baby, Daisy. The scene quickly takes a turn, however, as the couple show absolutely no knowledge of how to adequately care for their child. They have determined not to look at the... read more

The Bacchae

The Bacchae powerfully dramatizes the conflict between the emotional and rational sides of the human psyche. When the people of Thebes deny the existence of the god Dionysos, he punishes them by unleashing the full force of female sexuality, thereby destroying social order and driving them to cer... read more


The story centers on the relationship between a Jewish family, the Blitzteins, and a Cockney family, the Lockes, in 1940s London as the city takes a pounding from Hitler's bombs. At first Mrs. Blitztein and Alfie Locke work at adjacent food stalls “ and can't stand each other. But when their chi... read more


The play presents the story of a man named Brand, a priest with a stark vision of a demanding, inflexible god. Brand's implacable insistence on moral rigor and his unwillingness to compromise his self-imposed standards of holiness lead him to refuse his sinful mother her last sacraments, to allow... read more

Bright Star

Bright Star is the story of one woman at two different points in her life: the first, when she is a wild young thing growing up barefoot and carefree in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina; the second, when she is a well-to-do magazine editor in Asheville, 22 years later. Her story is inev... read more

The Butler Did It, Singing

The Butler Did It Singing is a comedic musical based on The Butler Did It. Miss Maple, a wealthy widow, invites a group of mystery writers to an isolated house and has them impersonate their fictional detectives. For fun, she adds various scary items around the house including a hairy face at the... read more

By Jeeves

The show begins at a benefit gala to raise money for a new church steeple. The banjo-playing guest star is of course none other than the genial but ditzy, Bertie Wooster. When the strings on Bertie's banjo break, his faithful manservant, Jeeves, suggests Bertie tells of some of his many adventure... read more

Béatrice et Bénédict

Héro longingly awaits the return of her fiancee;, Claudio, from war. Meanwhile, Béatrice inquires about and scorns Bénédict. They trade insults and tease each other. Bénédict swears to his friends that he will never marry. Later, Claudio and Pedro scheme to trick Bénédict into marrying Béatrice.... read more

La Calisto

Jupiter is in love with the goddess Diana's votary, Callisto. On the advice of Mercury, Jupiter takes on Diana's guise. Meanwhile, Diana falls in love with the shepherd Endymion. Further, Jupiter's wife, Juno, calls on the Furies to turn Callisto into a bear in order to enact revenge upon her h... read more