We provide this information as a service and do our best to inform our patrons as to content. Bear in mind that the question of what is or isn’t offensive is an extremely subjective one, particularly when it comes to determining the appropriateness of plays for children. If you have any concerns about a play’s appropriateness, we strongly encourage you to read this guide carefully, view our website guide and/or read the script before purchasing.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
SYNPOSIS: In this Tony Award-winning play based on the bestselling novel by Mark Haddon, 15-year-old Christopher Boone is an autistic boy who struggles to understand the basic emotional relationships of the people around him, but is also capable of solving extraordinarily difficult math problems. When his neighbor’s dog is murdered, Christopher resolves to discover who killed the dog and in the process embarks on a remarkable journey of self-discovery.
LANGUAGE: There is a fair amount of both profanities and obscenities uttered in the play, enough to qualify the play for an “R” rating. The language includes “”Jesus,” Jesus Christ” or Christ” a number of times, variants of “fuck,” (used as an exclamatory oath) and “shit,” also used a number of times, and a few uses of “bollocks,” “bastard,” and “arse.”
SMOKING/DRINKING/DRUG USE: There may be incidental depictions of smoking and drinking in the play.
VIOLENCE: The action of the play is set in motion when Christopher discovers a dead dog with a garden fork sticking out of it. This may be upsetting to younger audience members, but there is otherwise no other violence in the play.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? The best-selling novel upon which the play is based was very popular with teenaged readers. The character of Christopher, a teenager who has trouble understanding the world and is, by virtue of his autism, an archetypal outsider, will resonate with teenaged audiences, but parents should be aware of the strong language in the play. It is inappropriate for or beyond the grasp of most pre-teen audiences.
RATING: The show would be rated “R” for strong language.
A COMEDY OF TENORS
SYNOPSIS: This sequel to Lend Me a Tenor reunites the characters from that hit comedy. The setting is a luxury hotel suite in Paris in 1936, where Henry Saunders is preparing to stage a star-studded “Three Tenors” concert featuring Tito Morelli, the world’s greatest opera star. When Tito’s daughter begins a clandestine love affair with a young man, numerous comic misunderstandings ensue, throwing both the concert and the lives of everyone involved into hilarious chaos.
LANGUAGE: A small amount of strong language, including one non-sexual use of the old Anglo Saxon obscenity. The language includes one use each of “Goddammit,” “Jesus Christ,” and the expression “don’t fuck it up,” along with several uses of “Oh My God, “bastard,” and “hell.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There is no smoking and some on stage drinking depicted.
SEX: This is a farce, and as with Lend Me a Tenor, a lot of the humor derives from comic misunderstandings about who is having an affair with whom. The young lovers, Mimi and Carol, are discovered in their underwear together, and Tito flies into a rage when he thinks he sees his wife in a compromising position with a younger man. The humor is based on innuendo rather than explicit sexual behavior, but it is a part of the plot, just as it was in Lend Me a Tenor.
VIOLENCE: Nothing beyond wives slapping husband’s faces and husbands throttling men they believe have slept with their wives.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? A Comedy of Tenors is a farce in the classic tradition and is generally suitable for all audiences, including teenagers. Pre-teens should attend at a parent’s discretion, and conservative audience members who are discomfited by sexual innuendo may not enjoy the play.
RATING: If it were a movie, the show would be rated “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: Based on the Disney movie, which takes its story from an actual strike staged by newspaper boys at the turn of the century, Newsies is an uplifting song-and-dance musical about underdogs taking on the establishment. The story is a classic Disney feel-good musical, suitable for the entire family.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There may be incidental depictions of drinking and smoking.
VIOLENCE: There is a scene of strikebreakers attacking the boys, and some of the boys are carted away to a rough orphanage, but there is nothing to frighten even young audience members.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Newsies is a family musical that is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 5 and older.
RATING: The movie version of Newsies was rated “PG.”
SYNOPSIS: Sarah has had a rough time, but things are looking up. She has a new doctor and she’s met a nice guy named Jake—but is Jake a nice guy? And what did the doctor do to Sarah? The story takes place a few days after tomorrow, and is imbued with a sense of mystery, as the audience tries to discover what has happened in Sarah’s life that has brought her to this unnamed city at a time in the near future.
LANGUAGE: There is a fair amount of conversational strong language in the script, enough to qualify the play for an “R” rating. This language includes the frequent use of the word “fucking” (as an adjective), along with several uses of “shit” or bullshit,” and “Goddamn, “Jesus” of “Christ.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: In one scene, Sarah and Jake are having dinner, and he consumes a fair amount of wine.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?“i” is suitable for general audiences, although conservative audience members will likely be put off by the strong language. Teenagers will find the play interesting, but parents are cautioned about the language. The play is not suitable for pre-teens.
RATING: If it were a movie, “i” would be rated “R” for language.
IN THE HEIGHTS – CONCERT VERSION
SYNOPSIS: This musical was the first Broadway hit for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who went on to international fame with Hamilton. In Washington Heights, New York, a neighborhood of Latino immigrants celebrates the joys and challenges of living in America and striving for a better life.
LANGUAGE: There is a small amount of strong language, including one or two profanities and several vulgar expressions. The language includes “Jesus” and “Goddamn” (several times), “up shit’s creek,” “bullshit,” “bastards,” “damn” and “son-of-a-bitch.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There is no smoking or drug use. The young people in the musical go to dance clubs, where they may drink.
SEX: None. The women in the show sing a song in which they gossip about who is sleeping with whom, and two characters begin a romance in which it is clear they have spent the night together, but there is no explicit sexual activity in the play.
For Which Audiences: In the Heights is a joyous and uplifting musical with a vibrant Latin-tinged score. It is suitable for general audiences and teenagers. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 would likely enjoy the musical, but should attend at their parents’ discretion.
RATING: If it were a movie, In the Heights would be rated “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: This new bluegrass musical by comedian/musician Steve Martin and folk singer Edie Brickell tells the story of a romance between Alice Murphy, a small-town girl in 1923 in the deep south, and Jimmy Ray, the Mayor’s son. When Alice conceives a baby out of wedlock, the Mayor persuades her to give up the baby for adoption to save Billy Ray’s future career. The story jumps forward to 1945, when Alice Murphy has become the editor of a local literary journal publishing some of the most important young southern writers of her generation. When a young man just returned from war submits his stories to her, she doesn’t realize that the past she thought she had long ago buried has returned in unexpected ways.
LANGUAGE: None, beyond the occasional “damn” or “Good Lord.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There may be some incidental drinking and smoking, particularly as the characters attend dances and parties.
SEX: None. The plot turns on a baby conceived out of wedlock, but there is no sexual activity beyond kissing in the play.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Bright Star is a family friendly musical suitable for the entire family, including children aged 5 and older.
RATING: If it were a movie, Bright Star would be rated “PG.”
SYNOPSIS: After a shipwreck, headstrong and self-reliant Viola washes up on the shores of Illyria. Disguising herself as a boy, she becomes the confidant of Orsino, who sends her to woo on his behalf the beautiful but aloof noblewoman Olivia, who promptly falls in love with the “boy” she believes Viola to be.
LANGUAGE: None, beyond the usual Shakespearean double entendres.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: Sir Toby Belch and his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek are notorious partiers and appear in various stages of inebriation.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Twelfth Night is suitable for general audiences, including children aged ten and older. It might be over the heads of children under ten.
RATING: If it were a movie, Twelfth Night would be rated “PG.”
SYNOPSIS: Sophie is about to be married on the beautiful Greek island where she was raised by her mother, Donna. When she reads Donna’s old diary, she realizes that the father she has never known has to be one of three men. Hoping to learn who her father is and have him walk her down the aisle, Sophie invites all three to her wedding. Meanwhile, Tanya and Rosie, her mother’s two best friends and members of their all-girl singing trio from the 1970’s, show up for the wedding as well.
LANGUAGE: None to speak of; a small amount of course language. The language includes a “bastard,” “friggin,” “ass,” “damn,” “hell,” “screw,” “crap,” “Jesus,” and “Holy shit.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There is a Greek wedding and accompanying parties, at which drinking will take place.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Mamma Mia! is suitable for all general audiences and children aged 5 and older, although the plot set-up—a woman not knowing which of three men is the father of her daughter—and some song lyrics are mildly suggestive.
RATING: The movie version of Mamma Mia! was rated “PG-13.”