Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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



Volpone, childless and rich, and his servant, the parasitic, Mosca, play a cunning and farcical game of deceit with three ‘friends’ who are each determined to become Volpone's sole heir. Volpone decides to feign a fatal illness to encourage the three men to shower him with valuable gifts in the h... read more

The Vortex

The Vortex focuses on sexual vanity and drug abuse among the upper classes. A young composer, Nicky, proposes to his lover named Bunty. Meanwhile, Nicky’s mother has affairs with younger men. The action of the play centers on Nicky’s confused sexuality as well as his resentment for his mother. Hi... read more

Waist Deep

After the show she wrote for was cancelled for a joke that offended the president, April, a young comedy writer, hides out in the attic to avoid her conservative family. They support the president and her father despised the show she worked on. April's sister, Daisy, comes up to the attic to conv... read more

Waiting For a Train

The play is set in the waiting room of a railway station where a diverse group of people are stranded having missed their train for one reason or another. A disheveled man is seated on the floor in one corner when the others start to come in. Three middle aged ladies are followed ten minutes or s... read more

Walking Happy

Taking place in an industrial town in Lancashire, England, in 1880 the show concerns a hard-drinking boot shop owner and his three daughters. While Alice and Vickie are anxious to get married, Hobson is happily keeping his eldest daughter Maggie unmarried since she is so helpful around the shop.... read more

War Music

War Music is an interdisciplinary art performance based on Homer's classic The Iliad. The play is based on Christopher Logue's book of translated poetry. War Music tells the story of Achilles and his rival Agamemnon. The World Premiere was American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco March 26... read more

Water By the Spoonful

In a far corner of the internet, moderator “Haikumom” leads a chat room for recovering drug addicts, From behind their screens, these individuals who might never encounter each other in real life -- a student, an IRS-pusher, and a financier-- forge a bond as strong as blood. Off the computer,... read more

The Way of the World

One of the most popular Restoration comedy of manners escapades, William Congreve’s The Way of the World follows the story of Edward Mirabell and his love Millamant. To ensure the inheritance of Millamant’s dowry, the two need the consent of her disdainful and difficult aunt, Lady Wishfort. Howev... read more

The Way We Get By

Beth and Doug are both attractive, intelligent, and charming -- neither has ever struggled to find a partner. In the dim light of early morning following a drunken hookup, however, the pair find themselves in uncharted territory. As they flirt, fight, and flounder in the blurry, half-drunk morni... read more


Well is a funny and touching comedy about mothers and daughters, mind over body, social activism and theatre itself. Lisa, the onstage playwright, attempts a memory play about her force-of-nature mother, Ann, who though constantly ill manages to heal a community. Besides Lisa and her mom, the sh... read more