Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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


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


The Kindertransport was a British rescue mission that took place at the beginning of WWII. Over 10,000 Jewish children from various countries were placed in British foster homes. Helga and Werner Schlesinger are parents faced with the difficult choice of keeping their beloved daughter Eva in Ger... read more

Mother Courage and Her Children

Mother Courage and Her Children, follows one mother -- Mother Courage -- and her three children -- Eilif, Swiss Cheese, and Kattrin -- as they struggle to survive the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe in the early 17th century. As a canteen woman, Mother Courage attempts to make a profit off t... read more

Orfeo ed Euridice

According to the legend, Orpheus was famous with the Gods for his incredible singing ability and his talent with the lyre, an instrument similar to a small harp but with distinct differences. He is said to have made Gods and men weep with his mourning songs for his beloved Eurydice , who died fr... read more

Pacific Overtures

Taking place in 19th century Japan, the story concerns the culture clash sparked by America's 1853 mission to open up Japan to the West. Up to this point, Japan had been an island empire living in peace for centuries, undisturbed by foreign intruders. However, once Commodore Perry and the Ameri... 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

Top Girls

Set in the early 1980s, Top Girls depicts the lifestyle and life choices of its central character, Marlene. She is a successful career woman, who has just received a major promotion, and has unequivocally fought her way to the top. Famously using iconic female, historical figures, the play explor... read more

The Beard of Avon

Depressed, creatively stifled, and seeking space from his scolding and promiscuous wife, Anne Hathaway, simple stage-struck farmer Will Shakspere runs away to London, to join a company of Players. Sincere, innocent, and eager to please, Shakspere quickly finds himself involved in court intrigue a... read more

Becket ou l'Honneur de Dieu

Set in England during the twelfth century, Jean Anouilh's Becket tells the story of the relationship between Thomas Becket and Henry Plantagenet, known to history as King Henry II of England. As a young man, Thomas Becket was anything but a saint. As King Henry II's closest friend, Becket enjoy... read more


˜Blondel' is a rock opera that tells the story of the 12th century minstrel Blondel who sets off around Europe to find King Richard, off on a Crusade, and stop the usurper of the throne, Prince John. But can he accomplish his mission in spite of the hired assassin trying to kill him? read more