Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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Peter Grimes

The tragic story of Peter Grimes revolves around the tormented title character, a fisherman who finds himself shunned by the rest of his small village.  At once the protagonist and the anti-hero, Grimes is gruff and unpopular, but the character is crafted with a certain degree of ambiguity so the... read more

Photograph 51

It’s the age of scientific discovery in the 1950’s, and researchers are scrambling to be the first to unlock the mysteries of DNA. Amongst these scientists is Rosalind Franklin, an underappreciated genius working as the sole woman in her field of study. When one of her photographs, Photograph 51,... read more

A Picasso

A Picasso is a two-person play based on Picasso’s years in Paris during World War 2. Pablo Picasso has been summoned from his favorite café by German occupation forces to a storage vault across the city for an interrogation. At the vault, he meets Miss Fischer, a beautiful "cultural attaché" from... read more

Picnic

On a sweltering Labor Day morning, the women of a quiet neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks are preparing for the annual picnic. Watchful mother Flo Owens has hopes that her beautiful daughter Madge will get a proposal from Alan, the local millionaire’s son. Younger sister Millie, the “s... read more

The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World takes place over two days in the countryside of Ireland. A young man enters, frightened and disheveled. He slowly reveals that he has killed his father - a story which makes him a celebrity in this small village. However, his heroic status is challenged when his... read more

Pocatello

A failing Italian restaurant in the small town of Pocatello, Idaho, celebrates “famigilia week” in an effort to drum up business and reconnect with its values--a bit contrived, considering the restaurant is one branch of large and impersonal corporate chain. But Eddie, the branch manager, believe... read more

Port Authority

Port Authority is a play that explores the lives of the lonely and unsure through three intersecting stories. These stories are narrated by three generations of Irishmen, who are the leads in their own stories. These men are Kevin, a young underachiever in love with his roommate; Dermot, a middle... read more

The Princess in the Tower

During the Third Crusade, a knight, called Sir Steven DeVere, arrives at an enchanted island, reputed to contain a great treasure. Legend says it is ruled by a beautiful princess, who has repulsed all attackers. Sir Steven had boasted to King Richard, that he could win by charm what others have f... read more

Proposals

Proposals is a memory play that nostalgically recalls an afternoon the Hines family spends in the Pocono Mountains during the 1950s. The family's housekeeper, Clemma, narrates the story, which revolves around relationships at a family gathering. Clemma worries about a visit from her ex-husband.... read more

Pterodactyls

On the Philadelphia Main Line, the swath of suburbs just outside the city that are famously home to some of America’s most socially and financially elite, we meet the Duncan family. Arthur and Grace, now approaching late middle age, have expertly hidden behind a perfect veneer of family adoration... read more