Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


Madama Butterfly

This tragic tale revolves around the young Japanese geisha, Butterfly. She is to be married to Pinkerton, an American Officer on assignment in Nagasaki. Butterfly is young and naive, and fully believes her marriage to Pinkerton to be true and everlasting, while Pinkerton intends on marrying an Am... read more

The Seagull

“If you ever need my life, come take it.” So wrote Trigorin, lover of the fading actress Arkadina, in his most famous book. Nina, a young ingénue and the beloved muse of Arkadina’s playwright son, Konstantin, absorbs this statement completely. When the two actresses — one young, and one aging — a... read more

Sleeping Beauty

In this musical adaptation of the popular fairy tale, the evil fairy, Trollarina, has sent the beautiful, young Princess Melisande into an everlasting sleep. Luckily, the spell is broken by the kiss of an enchanted Faun/Prince. read more

Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya spends his time idling around the country estate of his brother-in-law, Serebryakov, a retired professor, in Russia, 1898. His sister dead, Vanya indulges in a romantic malaise over Serebryakov's beautiful, young second wife, Yelena. Meanwhile Doctor Astrov, summoned to the estate to... read more

Black Comedy

Struggling sculptor Brindsley Miller and his fiance, Carol, are having a party with the aim of impressing Carol's bombastic father, Colonel Melkett, and millionaire Georg Bamberger. They hope the two men might purchase some of Brindsley's sculptures. Without permission, they have borrowed the fu... read more

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child [Part One]

Nineteen years after Harry Potter left Hogwarts School for Magic, the famous wizard is now a hard-working employee of the Ministry for Magic and father to three teenaged children. However, his younger son, Albus, struggles with the responsibility and weight of being Harry Potter’s son. Magic and... read more


Lestat is the story of a man who escapes the tyranny of his oppressive family only to have his life taken from him by the vampire, Magnus. Now a vampire himself, Lestat is thrust into the seductive and sensual world of immortality. However, Lestat struggles to reconcile his innate sense of good... read more

M. Butterfly

M. Butterfly tells the story of a French diplomat posted in China, Rene Gallimard, who is brought to ruin and, eventually, convicted for espionage, after a twenty-year affair with a Beijing Opera diva. The diva, citing her Chinese modesty, manages to never appear naked in front of Gallimard. Th... read more

The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson is the fourth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. It takes place in 1936 and centers around a family, more specifically, a brother and a sister. Boy Willie shows up at his sister Berniece’s home after having recently been let out of prison in Mississippi. Right away we see... read more

She Stoops to Conquer

One of the eighteenth-century’s most enduring comedies, She Stoops to Conquer takes a comedic, often farcical, look at the behavior and marital expectations of the upper classes in England at this time. The play centers around the desire of Hardcastle, a wealthy landowner in the country, for his... read more