Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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The Seafarer

The Seafarer opens as Sharky Harkin has returned home at Christmastime to take care of his brother, Richard. Richard is a freewheeling soul, but he is also an overbearing alcoholic. He has recently gone blind. He lives to drink, and he urges Sharky to drink as well, even though Sharky has prom... read more

Searching for Eden: the diaries of adam & eve

This two-person play is set in the Garden of Eden and follows the meeting of the first man and woman. Playwright James Still combines Mark Twain’s short stories about Adam and Even to create the story. The play begins at the couple’s meeting and the battle of the sexes starts, language is delicio... read more

Semele

Diving deep into the history of ancient mythology, Semele explores the clashing of gods and mortals, the folly of vanity, and the fatal consequences of forbidden passion. The opera tells the cautionary tale of the delectable Semele and the god Jupiter, who tempt fate with a dangerously imprudent... read more

Seminar

Seminar tells the story of four young writers who each pay $5,000 for a ten-week seminar with Leonard, an international literary figure. The story begins with Kate, a well-to-do Upper West Sider with a fancy apartment who arranges the seminar for herself and three friends: Martin, her neurotic ex... read more

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

The Servant of Two Masters

The play tells the story of a hungry servant who, upon realizing that working for two masters could ensure him a greater supply of food, tries to do the job of two men while working desperately to conceal that fact from both employers. The play’s most famous scene takes place during a feast, when... 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

She Kills Monsters

She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans, a young woman grieving for her deceased sister. The Evans sisters never were especially close, but after Tilly’s death Agnes resolves a notebook containing a game scenario created by her sister. She discovers that Tilly was well-known Dungeons an... read more