Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Argonautika

Argonautika is a theatrical retelling of ancient myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason goes on a quest to capture the Golden Fleece. On his journey, his crew encounters monsters, goddesses, nymphs and more amazing sights. Mary Zimmerman based her story on a third century B.C. Greek epic poem re... read more

Bill W. and Dr. Bob

Based on the lives of two real people, Bill W. and Dr. Bob tells the story of the two men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous. When the stock market crashes in 1929, Bill W. becomes a hopeless drunk, and his wife, Lois, is unable to force him to keep his promise to stop. Meanwhile, Dr. Bob Smith,... read more

Bounce

Bounce is the story of men and women in late 19th century America willing to take risks to grab their piece of the American dream. The show specifically focuses on Addison and Wilson Mizner, two brothers who are constantly looking for the next way to strike it rich. They give it their all durin... read more

Defying Gravity

A free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster places the teacher who dies with six others as they are hurtled into space at the center of an exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe. Past and present lives weave together, drawing parallels among painter Cl... read more

Home/Sick

A Critics’ Pick in both The New York Times and Backstage when it premiered in 2012, HOME/SICK chronicles the rise and fall of the radical Weather Underground, who bombed dozens of targets in the early 1970s in protest of the Vietnam War. The show was written collectively, with cast members Ben B... read more

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind is a fictional version of the 1925 Scopes Trial. Scopes was convicted for teaching evolution to a high school class. In Tennessee, state law prohibited teaching evolution. The play is meant to criticize the anti-Communist investigations that took place in the U.S. The authors us... read more

Joyful Noise

George Frederick Handel’s Messiah is known throughout the world as one of the greatest and most miraculous religious compositions of all time. What the world doesn’t know, however, is that the backstory of the Messiah is just as miraculous as its music. Before composing the Messiah, Handel was in... read more

Kindertransport

The Kindertransport was a British rescue mission that took place at the beginning of WWII. Over 10,000 Jewish children from various countries were placed in British foster homes. Helga and Werner Schlesinger are parents faced with the difficult choice of keeping their beloved daughter Eva in Ger... read more

Mother Courage and Her Children

Mother Courage and Her Children, follows one mother -- Mother Courage -- and her three children -- Eilif, Swiss Cheese, and Kattrin -- as they struggle to survive the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe in the early 17th century. As a canteen woman, Mother Courage attempts to make a profit off t... read more

Pacific Overtures

Taking place in 19th century Japan, the story concerns the culture clash sparked by America's 1853 mission to open up Japan to the West. Up to this point, Japan had been an island empire living in peace for centuries, undisturbed by foreign intruders. However, once Commodore Perry and the Ameri... read more