Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


45 Seconds From Broadway

It is said that Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds from Broadway is Simon’s “Valentine to New York.” Set in the Polish Tea Room , characters wander in and out, sitting down, chatting with each other, building friendships, and giving glimpses into their lives in the “Big Apple.” Bernie and Zelda run the plac... read more

Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Abe Lincoln in Illinois is the story of the life of the American president, before he actually becomes president. At a young age, Abraham Lincoln learns of the problems of sectionalism in the United States, and has a great desire to end it. Despite his bright mind and passion, Lincoln runs into... read more


Argonautika is a theatrical retelling of ancient myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason goes on a quest to capture the Golden Fleece. On his journey, his crew encounters monsters, goddesses, nymphs and more amazing sights. Mary Zimmerman based her story on a third century B.C. Greek epic poem re... read more

Bill W. and Dr. Bob

Based on the lives of two real people, Bill W. and Dr. Bob tells the story of the two men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous. When the stock market crashes in 1929, Bill W. becomes a hopeless drunk, and his wife, Lois, is unable to force him to keep his promise to stop. Meanwhile, Dr. Bob Smith,... read more


Bounce is the story of men and women in late 19th century America willing to take risks to grab their piece of the American dream. The show specifically focuses on Addison and Wilson Mizner, two brothers who are constantly looking for the next way to strike it rich. They give it their all durin... read more

Defying Gravity

A free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster places the teacher who dies with six others as they are hurtled into space at the center of an exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe. Past and present lives weave together, drawing parallels among painter Cl... read more

Dido and Aeneas

Based on Book IV of Virgil’s Aeneid, Dido and Aeneas is Purcell’s only true opera, and his first composition which was written to be sung throughout. Having its first performance at the Josias Priest’s Boarding School for Girls in 1687, it is the perfect opera for student casts, as many of the vo... read more


A Critics’ Pick in both The New York Times and Backstage when it premiered in 2012, HOME/SICK chronicles the rise and fall of the radical Weather Underground, who bombed dozens of targets in the early 1970s in protest of the Vietnam War. The show was written collectively, with cast members Ben B... read more

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind is a fictional version of the 1925 Scopes Trial. Scopes was convicted for teaching evolution to a high school class. In Tennessee, state law prohibited teaching evolution. The play is meant to criticize the anti-Communist investigations that took place in the U.S. The authors us... read more

Joyful Noise

George Frederick Handel’s Messiah is known throughout the world as one of the greatest and most miraculous religious compositions of all time. What the world doesn’t know, however, is that the backstory of the Messiah is just as miraculous as its music. Before composing the Messiah, Handel was in... read more