Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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No Exit

Sarte’s famous existentialist play follows three people to a room in hell, where their torture is revealed to be each other’s company. Three damned souls, Garcin, Inez, and Estelle, are brought to a lavish room to await their punishment. While they expected some sort of torture chamber to punish... read more

Patience, or Bunthorne’s Bride

All of the maidens in the village are besotted with Reginald Bunthorne, a moody and handsome poet, but he has eyes only for the simple milkmaid, Patience. The problem? Bunthorne’s artistic ways are all just an act to attract women to him--he doesn’t even like poetry Besides, Patience is in lov... 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 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

The Acharnians

The Acharnians is a hilarious satire, and an indictment of unnecessary war. The play follows the attempts of the hero Dicaeopolis to make a personal peace with the Spartans even though his native city of Athens is fighting in the Peloponnesian War. After side-stepping informers, the Athenian Asse... read more

As Bees in Honey Drown

Evan Wyler, a young gay writer with a breakout debut novel, has just appeared shirtless in a magazine to sell his much-discussed book, and with that, he’s become the next “hot, young thing." He’s willing to do anything to hopefully climb to success-- to change his name from one that sounds too Je... read more

Chaucer in Rome

Chaucer in Rome is set in Rome during the Holy Year 2000, which the Pope has declared a pilgrimage year. Matt, Sarah and Pete are fellows at the Academy of Rome doing their own pilgrimage of a sort, but to art instead of God. Matt has just had skin cancer successfully removed, but he can no lon... read more

Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine

Undine Barnes Calles, a successful black woman who has fought her way to the top of her social echelon, lives a comfortable and busy life as the founder and president of a PR firm meant to cater to other African-American elite and nouveau riche. She specializes in non-profit benefits and finds de... read more

Machinal

Sophie Treadwell, the writer herself of the revolutionary expressionist play Machinal, reminds us in her directions preceding the script that this story, in its most basic essence, is of a woman who murders her husband. Seemingly straightforward, but both Treadwell and the work she created seek t... read more