Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


Pipe Dream

"Pipe Dream" is a tale of hard times and star-crossed love on Cannery Row. The musical is populated with longshoremen and "ladies of the evening", who weave a poignant story of the friendship and romance that blossoms among the loners and runaways searching for their dreams on the Monterey wharf.... read more

The Plough and the Stars

Ireland is still under the rule of Great Britain, and the Irish people are preparing to rebel. In a small tenement in one of Dublin’s working class neighborhoods live the Clitheroes. Jack Clitheroe used to belong to the Irish Citizen Army, and his wife, Nora, would do anything to keep him from re... read more

Princess Ida

A hilarious twist on a traditional medieval fairy tale, Princess Ida tells the tale of a Princess, who eschews her marriage obligations to the Prince of a neighboring kingdom to run a women's university. Prince Hilarion has been waiting for his wedding day for twenty years. He is about to meet P... read more

The Reporter

Nicholas Wright’s The Reporter begins with a suicide note: “I can’t bear it anymore, though I don’t know what it is.” Protagonist Jim Mossman is a successful reporter with the BBC in the prime of his career. He is well-liked, good at what he does, but struggles with his success being somewhat con... read more


The story concerns John Kent, a star college football player, who inherits his aunt's dress shop in Paris. After moving to Paris to run the shop, John falls in love with his assistant, Stephanie who turns out to be a Russian princess. read more

The Rothschilds

The story concerns the rags-to-riches story of resourceful and ambitious Mayer Rothschild and his five sons as they overcome anti-Semitism in late eighteenth century European society and build a wildly successful family banking business. Over time they come to dominate European finance, help fund... read more

The School for Scandal

The School for Scandal centers around the gossip and scandal, usually concerning sexual intrigue, which dominated the wealthy social circles of eighteenth-century England. One of the best known “comedy of manners” plays, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s plot presents a scathing look of the conceits an... read more

Shakespeare in Hollywood

Take the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood, populated by real-life, yet delightfully exaggerated, personalities of the movie scene. Add a sophisticated German director with an artistic vision, a couple of misplaced supernatural beings, and one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies of... read more


Shenandoah centers on a pacifist widower, Charlie Anderson, living with his large family in the Shenandoah Valley during the American Civil War. While trying to keep his family shielded from the war, he is forced to take action when his youngest son is taken prisoner by Federal soldiers. read more

Spring Awakening: A Children's Tragedy

A social and cultural argument written before its time, Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy is a sharp indictment of a repressive society that keeps its children in ignorance about puberty, sex, and sexuality. The plot follows three young people in a provincial German village in the 1890s: Wen... read more