Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Semiramide

With the help of Assur, Semiramide, the Queen of Babylon, has killed her husband King Nino. Thus, there is now a power struggle to see who become the next King of Babylon. To the chagrin of Assur, Arsace is chosen by Semiramide to be her husband. After it is discovered that Arsace is in fact Ki... read more

La Serva Padrona (The Servant as Mistress)

Uberto, an elderly bachelor, is angry and impatient with his maidservant, Serpina, because she has not brought him his chocolate today. Serpina has become so arrogant that she thinks she is the mistress of the household. Indeed, when Uberto calls for his hat, wig and coat, Serpina forbids him fro... read more

Sexual Perversity in Chicago

One of Mamet's earliest plays, Sexual Perversity in Chicago follows four acquaintances, two of whom are lovers, as they dissect the relationships between men and women. Danny and Deb are young, naive, and still hopeful about love. Bernie and Joan are older, and much more cynical. As Danny and... read more

The Shadow Box

Joe, Brian, and Felicity come from different walks of life, different parts of the country, and are in different stages of accepting the things they have in common: they are all dying of cancer, and they are all living out their final days, in company with friends and family, in homey hospice cot... read more

Shinbone Alley

The story revolves around Archy, a prim and proper cockroach, and his idol the sexy and hedonistic alley cat, Mehitabel. Archie is desperately in love with Mehitable and wants to reform her wild ways. read more

Shining City

Set in contemporary Dublin, Shining City explores the lives of one bewildered widower and his therapist. John is still reeling from his loss when he is visited by the ghost of his wife. Terrified and guilt ridden, John starts sessions with Ian, a therapist who is struggling with his own demons. A... read more

Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine is a bored, middle-aged housewife, trapped in a stale, loveless marriage. Her children are all grown up and she frequently talks to the wall in her kitchen while preparing her husband’s regular evening meal of egg and chips. Shirley feels stuck in a rut and finds solace in her d... read more

Shooting Star

This play is a two person show about two ex-lovers who reunite in a snowed-in airport. The lead characters, Elena and Reed, were in love during college and lead a free spirited life. They experimented with open relationships. After 20 years, they run into one another in the airport. read more

Sight Unseen

Margulies' play is the story of Jonathan Waxman, a superstar artist, so popular that collectors will buy his work "sight unseen." In London for a major retrospective, Jonathan decides to call his former girlfriend, Patricia, who posed for him as a student and whose influence became a turning p... read more

Simply Heavenly

The show takes place in Paddy’s bar, whose customers are mostly African-American, hard working or jobless. 'Simple' has a wife awaiting an expensive divorce, a girlfriend awaiting a wedding ring, and an indefatigable weakness for the local man-eater, Arcie. When faced with choosing between tempta... read more