Descriptions of the Musicals & Plays from our survey
A Christmas Story – A musical based on the 1983 film of the same name. Set in the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.
Elf – A musical based on the 2003 film of the same name. William “Buddy” Hobbs, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa Claus’ bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. After discovering the baby, Santa and his elves decide to raise the child as an elf. Years later, Buddy finds out that he’s actually a human being and, at Santa’s prompting, heads off to New York City in search of his father, Walter Hobbs. Faced with the harsh reality that Walter is on the naughty list and his son, Michael, doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his birth family and help New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Memphis – A musical by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro that is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. This production won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Fun Home – A musical adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic novel memoir of the same name. The story concerns Bechdel’s discovery of her own sexuality, her relationship with her gay father, and her attempts to unlock the mysteries surrounding his life. It is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist. It is told in a series of non-linear vignettes connected by narration provided by the adult Alison character. (Has adult themes & content.)
Heathers – A rock musical based on the 1988 film of the same name is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique, The Heathers, at Westerberg High. In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, the intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath, J.D., in a plot to kill the cool kids. (Has adult themes & content.)
Spring Awakening – A rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the 1891 German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind. Set in late 19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality. (Has adult themes & content.)
Matilda – A musical based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The musical’s narrative centers on Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis, who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life.
Cinderella (2013 Revised Version) – A musical in two acts with music by Rodgers & Hammerstein with a book by Douglas Carter Beane based partly on Hammerstein’s 1957 book. The story is based upon the fairy tale Cinderella, particularly the French version Cendrillon, ou la Petite Pantoufle de Verre, by Charles Perrault. The story concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into an elegant young lady and is able to attend the ball to meet her Prince, but, in this version, she must open the Prince’s eyes to the injustice in his kingdom.
Clue – A comedy based on the Hasbro board game and the 1985 Paramount Pictures motion picture of the same name. It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well . . . dead. So whodunnit? Join the iconic oddballs known as Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock, and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. Based on the cult classic film and the popular board game, Clue is a madcap comedy that will keep you guessing until the final twist.
I Hate Hamlet – A comedy written by Paul Ruddick. Set in John Barrymore’s old apartment in New York City, the play follows successful television actor Andrew Rally as he struggles with taking on the dream role of Hamlet, dealing with a girlfriend who is keeping a firm grip on her chastity, and playing host to the ghost of John Barrymore, who, clothed as Hamlet, has come back to earth for the sole purpose of convincing Rally to play the part. Real estate agent Felicia Dantine convinces Rally to stay in the apartment and hold a séance. Barrymore proves to be very convincing (challenging Andrew to a sword fight in the middle of the New York loft), and Andrew decides to play Hamlet. But when a Hollywood friend shows up offering Andrew a new role in a television pilot, with a potentially large salary and fame, Andrew is forced to choose between Shakespeare, whom his girlfriend loves, or television, where he is loved by millions.
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches – A drama by American playwright Tony Kushner that won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. The play is a complex, often metaphorical, and at times symbolic examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s. Certain major and minor characters are supernatural beings (angels) or deceased persons (ghosts). The play contains multiple roles for several of the actors. Initially and primarily focusing on a gay couple in Manhattan, the play also has several other storylines, some of which occasionally intersect. (Has adult themes & content.)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – A drama by Simon Stephens based on the novel of the same name by Mark Haddon. Set in Swindon and London, the story concerns a 15-year-old amateur detective named Christopher John Francis Boone who is a mathematical genius. He appears to have an unspecified autism spectrum disorder that is variously described as either autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, although the condition is never explicitly stated in the play. The titular curious incident is the mystery surrounding the death of a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, found speared by a garden fork. While searching for the murderer of the dog, he encounters resistance from many neighbors, but mostly from his father, Ed.
God of Carnage – A dark comedy written by Yasmina Reza. It is about two sets of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park. They agree to meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – An absurdist, existential tragicomedy by Tom Stoppard. The action of the play takes place mainly “in the wings” of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with brief appearances of major characters from the show who enact fragments of the original’s scenes. Between these episodes the two protagonists voice their confusion at the progress of events occurring onstage without them in Hamlet, of which they have no direct knowledge.
Steel Magnolias – A comedy-drama by American writer Robert Harling, based on his experience with his sister’s death. The play is about the bond among a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana. The title suggests the “female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.”
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