Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Photograph 51

It’s the age of scientific discovery in the 1950’s, and researchers are scrambling to be the first to unlock the mysteries of DNA. Amongst these scientists is Rosalind Franklin, an underappreciated genius working as the sole woman in her field of study. When one of her photographs, Photograph 51,... read more

Present Laughter

A famous actor, Garry Essendine, finds himself visited by a young admirer, Daphne Stillington, who manages to convince him to allow her to stay the night. The next day, Garry manages to convince her to leave -- but only after Daphne meets all three of his employees. Garry's ex-wife, Liz Essendi... read more

Saint Joan

Shaw's play is a fictionalized version of the historical life of Joan of Arc. Young Joan, a French farmgirl, hears the voices of saints telling her to raise an army to fight the English. When the war starts to go the way of the French, the English convince the Church to have her tried for heresy... read more

Top Girls

Set in the early 1980s, Top Girls depicts the lifestyle and life choices of its central character, Marlene. She is a successful career woman, who has just received a major promotion, and has unequivocally fought her way to the top. Famously using iconic female, historical figures, the play explor... read more

The Whipping Man

Playwright Matthew Lopez’s first work, The Whipping Man, has been sweeping regional and professional theaters since its debut. The play examines a vital, but not often spoken of period in American history, the post-Civil War South, as former slaves and slavemasters struggled to acclimate to the n... read more

Wolf Hall

Based on Hilary Mantel’s historical novel by the same name, Wolf Hall is a stage adaptation of the fictionalized biography of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to King Henry VIII of England. Following the failure Cardinal Wolsey to secure Henry’s divorce from Katharine of Aragon, Cromwell uses a dangerous... read more