Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Ragtime

Based on the novel of the same name by E.L. Doctrow, Ahren’s and Flaherty’s Ragtime is a compelling epic capturing the American experience at the turn of the 20th century. Tracking three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream in the volatile “melting pot” of turn-of-the-century New Yo... read more

Something Rotten

Welcome to the Renaissance, where the Black Plague has ceded power to the Puritans, farthingales and codpieces are the latest fashion trend, and the biggest celebrity in England is a playwright named William Shakespeare. In the midst of all this excitement, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are tryi... read more

Parade

Parade tells the heart-wrenching, true story of Leo Frank: a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man living in Atlanta who was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of his thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in 1913. Because Frank’s trial was replete with faulty testimony and lacked any clear evide... read more

Memphis

Inspired by actual events in the underground 1950s dance clubs, Memphis tells the story of a white radio DJ, Huey Calhoun, who adores taboo Black music and eventually falls in love with a beautiful Black singer. The singer, Felicia Farrell, is desperate to find her big break. The unlikely couple... read more

Assassins

In this darkly humorous musical review, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman depict nine misfit men and women who attempted to assassinate American Presidents. While every nation has its assassins and would-be assassins, only in America, the authors suggest, do disturbed and disturbing individua... read more

Catch Me If You Can

Based on the unbelievable true story of one of the most famous con artists in history, Frank Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can is a rousing musical set in the 1960’s. We begin as Frank is captured by Agent Carl Hanratty, after years of pursuit. Frank, however, thinks the audience deserves to hear... read more

Side Show

Based on the true story of conjoined twins and famed entertainers Violet and Daisy Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about acceptance, love, and embracing one’s uniqueness. As the starring act of a sideshow, helmed by an abusive ringmaster, Violet and Daisy Hilton are eager to accept an o... read more

Julius Caesar

Based on true events in Roman history, Julius Caesar tells the story of the powerful ruler brought down by the betrayal of those he held dear. Julius Caesar has just emerged victorious in a series of Roman civil wars and has become extremely popular with the populous. A fellow general, Cassius, o... read more

The Elephant Man

The script is based upon the life of Joseph Merrick, a man so physically deformed that he became known as the “Elephant Man.” With very few options open to him, Merrick is forced to display himself to the public in travelling sideshows. Eventually, however, he finds himself alone and destitute i... read more

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Brighton Beach Memoirs is the first play in Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical comedic Eugene trilogy, which also includes and . The story of Brighton Beach Memoirs follows a 15-year-old boy named Eugene Jerome as he grows up in 1937 Brooklyn. Eugene learns about girls, family, relationships, an... read more