Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Kiss Me, Kate

Egotistical leading man, director, and producer Fred Graham is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, when the two are forced to play opposite one another in a new production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. The battle of the sexes continues onstage and off, as it becomes clear that, as m... read more

Dogfight

On November 21, 1963, three Marines decide to spend their last night before their deployment to Southeast Asia for one final night of debauchery, partying and a little trouble. A “dogfight” ensues: who can find the ugliest girl in town and bring her to a party where she will be judged? Corporal E... read more

Chess

Chess is used as a metaphor for romantic rivalries and the US-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War. The main characters form a love triangle: the ill-mannered American Grandmaster, the intense Russian champion who plans on defecting to the West, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who a... read more

Othello

Shakespeare’s Othello is one of his most intimate and devastating tragedies of all. It is a story about society, status and the nature of the outsider – but it is also a story about the love and trust between friends, and between men and women.Defying her father and society to follow her heart,... read more

The Fantasticks

Whimsical, poignant, and romantic, The Fantasticks is an allegorical story that focuses on two young lovers, their meddling fathers, and the journey we all must take through adolescent thrills, the growing pains of hurt and betrayal, the highs of passion, the challenges of distance, and the agoni... read more

The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly clever comedic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was once called by critic W.H. Auden, “the only pure verbal opera in English.” Earnest tells the story of two young gentlemen in London, who each live a double-life, creating elaborate deceptions in order to h... read more

Big Fish

Edward Bloom has lived a full and fantastical life, populated by witches, giants, and mermaids, marked by true love that stops time in its tracks, and framed by heroics that push the limits of believability. His adult son, Will, is no longer amused by his father’s fantastical tales, insisting on... read more

Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman chronicles the last days in the life of Willy Loman, a man who has spent more than three decades in sales and now, in his early sixties, finds his numbers—and his mind—slipping. Biff, his 34-year-old son, is out of work and running out of options. Happy, two years younger, c... read more

Ghost the Musical

Ghost the Musical is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Longtime couple Sam and Molly are happily in love and living together in Brooklyn. Walking back to their apartment one night, they are mugged at gunpoint, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped between this world and... read more

Damn Yankees

Would you do ANYTHING to help your favorite baseball team win the pennant? In the Faustian baseball musical, Damn Yankees, Joe Boyd sells his soul to the devil to be the home run hitter that will guide his favorite team, the Washington Senators, to a win against those “damn Yankees.” Featuring t... read more