Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Urinetown

In the not-so-distant future, a terrible water shortage and 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets, owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company: the Urine Good Company. If the poor don’t obey the strict laws prohibiting fr... read more

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot tells the story of a young boy from a coal mining village in northeast England who transcends class and circumstance to become a ballet star. The musical is set against the backdrop of the 1984-5 miners strike, which tragically affects the whole village. Billy is looked after by his... read more

Hello, Dolly!

Jerry Herman’s energetic Hello, Dolly is a musical filled with charisma and with heart. Matchmaker Dolly Levi is a widow, a matchmaker, and also a professional meddler --but everything changes when she decides that the next match she needs to make is to find someone for herself. Set in New York... read more

Much Ado About Nothing

The Bard’s famous comedic romp known for the brilliant war of words between the feisty Beatrice and the staunch bachelor Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party. When Don Pedro Prince of Aragon visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, love ant... read more

Company

On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert struggles to think of a wish to make as he blows out his birthday candles. The lone bachelor, surrounded by “those good and crazy people” -- his married friends -- Robert is uncertain whether he should simply be happy with his lot or whether he should wis... read more

A Little Night Music

In turn of the century Sweden, trysts abound. The lawyer Fredrik Egerman has married the virginal 18-year old Anne, with whom Fredrik’s son, the melancholy academic Henrik, has fallen in love. Desiree Armfeldt, a stage actress of great beauty is involved with the buffoonish Count Carl Magnus Mal... read more

Once Upon a Mattress

Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Fur... read more

South Pacific

Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Based on the anecdotes of a re... read more

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

On the night of his mother’s funeral, middle-class Englishman Monty Navarro learns an incredible secret: he is the “son of the daughter of the grandson of nephew of the second Earl of Highhurst.” In other words, Monty Navarro is an aristocrat -- if he can only find a way to prevent the eight earl... read more

The Drowsy Chaperone

When wealthy widow Mrs. Tottenham hosts the wedding of the year, she gets a lot more than a write-up in the society pages: Janet Van de Graaff, glittering starlet of Feldzieg’s Follies, is leaving the stage for love, a turn of events which horrifies the angry and anxious Mr. Feldzieg, whose chief... read more