Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead

It’s a rough day for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the most prestigious acting company in the city of London. First, their inaugural performance of “King Henry the Fifth” is interrupted by the wayward clown, Will Kemp, dancing a jig to advertise his newest stunt: a Morris dance from London to Norwi... read more

Wish You Were Here

The show takes place at Camp Karefree, a summer camp for adults. Depressed over her upcoming marriage to a man she doesn’t love, Teddy Stern arrives along with her flirty blonde bombshell friend, Fay. Teddy hopes her time at the camp will help her relax and prepare for her wedding. Instead, she e... read more

Wolf Hall

Based on Hilary Mantel’s historical novel by the same name, Wolf Hall is a stage adaptation of the fictionalized biography of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to King Henry VIII of England. Following the failure Cardinal Wolsey to secure Henry’s divorce from Katharine of Aragon, Cromwell uses a dangerous... read more

A Woman Killed with Kindness

A Woman Killed With Kindness, a critically acclaimed Renaissance drama by the renowned playwright Thomas Heywood, centers around the marriage between John Frankford and his new wife, Anne. The couple have a seemingly perfect marriage, until Frankford invites Wendoll into their home to stay as his... read more

A Woman of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance satirizes upper-class English society at the end of the nineteenth century. It takes place, for the most part, in the homes of the rich and powerful, where Lord, Ladies, and Archdeacons socialize and gossip about their contemporaries. The play opens in the garden of the H... read more

Wonderful World

Two couples, Jennifer and Max and Barry and Patty, are not doing very well. Even though their jobs are to help people, they do not seem to be able to help themselves. Max accidentally says that a few months ago, he was so scared about making a commitment with Jennifer that he fantasized about k... read more

Yellow Face

Yellow Face is David Henry Hwang's self-mocking drama about his reaction to the casting of caucasian actor Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian character in his Broadway play, M. Butterfly. Hwang was loudly critical of the casting choice, and he decides to write a play about the experience. He finds th... read more

You Got Older

Dumped and fired by her boyfriend/boss, Mae assumes her life can’t get worse -- until her Dad acquires a rare, aggressive form of cancer. When she moves home to care for her ailing parent, Mae’s routine assumes an aimless, horrible youthfulness: sneak out to the bar, avoid her Dad’s discussion of... read more

Zero Positive

As the play begins a young man, Himmer, is trying to console his father on the death of his long-estranged wife whom neither has seen for many years, but the older man, Jacob, is apparently more interested in his model trains. Himmer then conceives the idea of honoring his mother's memory by sta... read more