Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Othello

Shakespeare’s Othello is one of his most intimate and devastating tragedies of all. It is a story about society, status and the nature of the outsider – but it is also a story about the love and trust between friends, and between men and women.Defying her father and society to follow her heart,... read more

The Fantasticks

Whimsical, poignant, and romantic, The Fantasticks is an allegorical story that focuses on two young lovers, their meddling fathers, and the journey we all must take through adolescent thrills, the growing pains of hurt and betrayal, the highs of passion, the challenges of distance, and the agoni... read more

The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly clever comedic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was once called by critic W.H. Auden, “the only pure verbal opera in English.” Earnest tells the story of two young gentlemen in London, who each live a double-life, creating elaborate deceptions in order to h... read more

Big Fish

Edward Bloom has lived a full and fantastical life, populated by witches, giants, and mermaids, marked by true love that stops time in its tracks, and framed by heroics that push the limits of believability. His adult son, Will, is no longer amused by his father’s fantastical tales, insisting on... read more

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a fast-paced farce that promises to have audiences rolling on the floor. Taking straight from the roots of comedy, Forum combines the ancient comedies of Plautus with a vaudevillian delivery. Pseudolus schemes to win the heart of the beautiful vir... read more

Sunday in the Park with George

Inspired by George Seurat’s magnificent painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s soaring musical is itself an artistic masterpiece. The musical begins with the story of George and his model and lover Dot. As George struggles to find his ar... read more

An American in Paris

An American in Paris is a story of finding love, happiness, and a new lease on life. The musical is set in the City of Lights, Paris, as it emerges from the shadows of World War II. As the weight of the Nazi Occupation begins to lift, the city’s inhabitants come alive and rediscover life’s grande... read more

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (2007 version)

Set in the rough-and-tumble backwoods of Oregon in the 1850s, where every man still took for himself, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a delightful story about creating civilization in the wilderness. When Milly married handsome backwoodsman, Adam, she had no idea she would be responsible for... read more

Man of La Mancha

Man of La Mancha, based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel, Don Quixote, is a remarkable, poignant, moving musical that was one of the first shows to musicalize a piece of historical literature. Set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition, Man of La Mancha is presented as a play-within-a-pl... read more

[title of show]

Jeff and Hunter, two self-confessed nobodies in New York, make a pact: They will write an original musical and submit it to a festival. The only catch? The deadline is in three weeks They gather their two actress friends, Susan and Heidi, and their accompanist and music director, Larry, on the... read more