Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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La Bohème

A group of friends are living a bohemian life in Paris and trying to make their livings creating art. Rodolfo, the writer, falls in love with the seamstress, Mimi, while Marcello, the painter, and Musetta, the singer, are the on-and-off-again couple by their sides. When the four are happy, they... read more

King Lear

The aging King Lear resolves to turn his kingdom over to his three daughters – once each tells him how much she loves him. This test of eloquence yields consequences Lear little expects when the favored Cordelia says nothing. Lear disowns her, leaving himself vulnerable to the whims of his two... read more

The Merchant of Venice

In the melting pot of Venice, currency opens many doors. A multicultural metropolis, Venice welcomes its arms to all – so long as they come prepared for the brutality of the business of trade. Young Bassanio wants to take a gamble for brilliant Portia, the wealthy heiress of Belmont. He is wil... read more

On the Town

With the pomp and fanfare of New York City, the brassy lyricism of Leonard Bernstein, and the sweet immediacy of a day of freedom during a time of war, On the Town is an American classic, beloved both for its moment in history and for its timeless qualities of youth and exuberance. The show follo... read more

Arsenic and Old Lace

Mortimer Brewster is living a happy life: he has a steady job at a prominent New York newspaper, he’s just become engaged, and he gets to visit his sweet spinster aunts to announce the engagement. Mortimer always knew that his family had a bit of a mad gene -- his brother believes himself to be T... read more

The Light in the Piazza

Summer 1953: Margaret Johnson, an elegant and strong-willed Southern woman, has taken her daughter, Clara, on a vacation to Italy. When a gust of wind blows Clara’s hat right into the hands of a young Italian gentleman, neither age nor language nor familial disapproval can stop their whirlwind lo... read more

La Cage Aux Folles

Georges is the owner of the La Cage Aux Folles nightclub, which features a drag show starring his partner and the love of his life, Albin. After twenty years of un-wedded bliss, Georges and his partner Albin face the hardest challenge of their relationship, yet: meeting their son, Jean-Michel’s... read more

Julius Caesar

Based on true events in Roman history, Julius Caesar tells the story of the powerful ruler brought down by the betrayal of those he held dear. Julius Caesar has just emerged victorious in a series of Roman civil wars and has become extremely popular with the populous. A fellow general, Cassius, o... read more

Twelve Angry Men (or Twelve Angry Women or Twelve Angry Jurors)

On a hot summer day after a long trial, a jury must decide whether a 19-year-old man is guilty of murdering his father. The jury votes 11-1 that the man is guilty of the crime, but laws in the United States require a unanimous vote by all 12 jurors in order to pass judgment. Tempers flare as the... read more

Amadeus

The play explores the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, the court composer for the Emperor of Austria in the late eighteenth century. Jealous of Mozart’s genius and resentful of his own mediocrity, the composer Antonio Salieri secretly rejects God and vows to destroy hi... read more