Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera is a biting satire of the post-war rise of capitalism, wrapped up in Weill's jazzy score, and the tale of Macheath , a debonair crime lord on the verge of turning his illegal empire into a legitimate business. When Macheath marries young Polly Peachum, her father is enraged... read more

Reasons to Be Pretty

When Greg makes a seemingly harmless comment about his girlfriend Steph’s “regular” looking face, the information gets back to Steph and sends their relationship over the deep end. Greg’s life spirals out of control when Steph leaves him, and he has to come to terms with what he has said. Greg’s... read more

The Scottsboro Boys

In 1931, nine African-American teenagers, between the ages of 13 and 19 years old, were arrested and charged with the rape of two white women, while traveling through Alabama. With no evidence and no proof, these nine young men were convicted and sentenced to death. Based on this infamous case of... read more

The Cripple of Inishmaan

On the island of Inishmaan, off the coast of Ireland, there is not that much to do. A young man named Billy, who is physically handicapped, wants to leave, as everyone there, even his aunts Kate and Eileen, calls him “Cripple Billy.” A Hollywood film crew shows up on the island, and Billy sees hi... read more

The Gingerbread Lady

The Gingerbread Lady is a dark drama with comic overtones centering on Evy Meara, a cabaret singer whose career, marriage, and health all have been destroyed by alcohol. We meet her at the end of a ten week drying out period at a sanitarium when her friend, her daughter, and an actor try to help... read more

The Lion in Winter

Betrayal, treachery, and a knife fight: it’s just another normal Christmas celebration for the royal Plantagenet family of Britain. In The Lion in Winter, King Henry II throws a Christmas feast for the newly crowned King of France. Also in attendance for the holiday celebrations are Henry’s thre... read more

The Little Dog Laughed

Mitchell Green is a Hollywood star on his way to the A-list -- if he can only keep that pesky “recurring case of homosexuality” under wraps. When Mitchell falls for a young call-boy while in New York for a premiere, his acerbic, fast-talking Hollywood agent, Diane, takes matters into her own hand... read more

The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Edna and Mel are a struggling, middle-aged couple living in New York City. Mel has just lost his job, the walls of their apartment are much too thin, and the city is in the middle of a heat wave. Their troubles escalate when Mel suffers a nervous breakdown. Mel becomes slightly paranoid, the apa... 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

At Home at the Zoo

At Home at the Zoo combines Albee's classic, The Zoo Story, with its prequel, Homelife, to form a complete story of Peter , Ann , and Jerry . The play begins by offering a revealing look at Peter and Ann's boring marriage and their brutal, failed attempts to communicate about it. The tone chang... read more