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April 2, 2021

20 Plays and Musicals About Siblings


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Ah, brothers and sisters… they can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. They may be supportive, competitive, annoying, endearing, or even estranged, but they’ll always be family. For National Siblings Day, Concord Theatricals offers up a selection of shows featuring siblings. Take a look at our list — and be sure to share some of the love with your siblings today!

Musicals

Blood Brothers by Willy Russell (US/UK)
(Drama / 5m, 3f +ensemble)
In this haunting rags-to-riches tragedy, separated twin brothers grow up just streets apart, never learning the truth, but still becoming firm friends and even falling for the same girl. As one brother prospers and the other falls on hard times, the show warns that the division of twin siblings exacts a terrible price.

Cinderella by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Douglas Carter Beane (US/UK)
(Comedy / 6f, 5m +ensemble)
Have there ever been more deliciously despicable siblings than Cinderella’s selfish stepsisters? In Rodgers & Hammerstein’s charming and elegant interpretation of the magical fairy tale, sibling rivalry leads to hilarity with the show-stopping “Stepsister’s Lament.” In this recent Broadway adaptation, librettist Douglas Carter Beane adds a new twist: one of the stepsisters repents and earns redemption.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (US)
(Comedy / 17m, 2f +ensemble)
You want brothers? This show has eleven of them! A re-imagining of the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, the musical follows Jacob’s preferred son Joseph, whose jealous brothers sell him into slavery. After a series of misfortunes, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon appears before the mighty (but troubled) Elvis-inspired Pharaoh. Interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph solves the problem of Egypt’s famine, rises to become Pharaoh’s right-hand man, and joyfully reunites with his father and repentant brothers.

Side Show by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell (US/UK)
(Drama / 14m, 7f +ensemble)
Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton, who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women literally joined at the hip, whose extraordinary bond brings them fame but denies them love. Told almost entirely in song, the show follows Violet and Daisy’s progression from England to America, around the vaudeville circuit, and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie, Freaks.

The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse and Maria Augusta Trapp (US/UK)
(Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 4m, 5 girls, 2 boys +ensemble)
From Liesl, the eldest, who is “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” to Gretl, the youngest, the seven Von Trapp children may be the most famous siblings in musical theater. Singing a trove of cherished songs, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi” and the title number, this band of siblings won the hearts of audiences worldwide; The Sound of Music earned five Tony Awards and five Oscars, including Best Picture.

Tuck Everlasting by Claudia Shear, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen and Tim Federle (US/UK)
(Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 6m, 1 girl +ensemble)
When eleven-year-old Winnie Foster becomes unexpectedly entwined with the Tuck family, she gets more than she could have imagined. Though the Tucks share the secret and magical power of eternal life, brothers Jesse and Miles Tuck couldn’t be any more different. The fraternal clash between Jesse’s youthful exuberance and Miles’ wistful regret leads Winnie to face an extraordinary choice: return to her life, or continue with the Tucks on their infinite journey.

Twelfth Night by Shaina Taub (US/UK)
(Comedy / 7m, 4f, 5m or f +ensemble)
This rousing contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy about mistaken identity and self-discovery features one of the Bard’s most celebrated pairs of twins: Viola, a young heroine, washes up on the shores of Illyria separated from her twin brother, Sebastian. Disguising herself as a male servant to the Duke, Viola delivers his romantic messages to the countess Olivia, but winds up falling hard for a Duke. When Sebastian arrives in town – an identical match for his disguised twin sister – hilarity ensues.

White Christmas by Irving Berlin, Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, David Ives and Paul Blake (US/UK)
(Comedy / 5f, 6m, 1girl +ensemble)
“Sisters, sisters… There were never such devoted sisters!” Betty and Judy Haynes sing the ultimate tribute to sisterhood in this heartwarming and uplifting Irving Berlin classic. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow the singing Haynes sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. The dazzling score features well-known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial title tune.

Wonderful Town by Joseph Fields, Jerome Chodorov, Ruth McKenney, Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green (US)
(Comedy / 5f, 9m +ensemble)
In the summer of 1935, Ruth, an aspiring writer, and her sister Eileen, an actress and dancer, leave rural Ohio to seek success in the big city. Due to their limited budget, the sisters wind up sharing a less-than ideal basement apartment in Greenwich Village. Together and individually, they pursue their dreams, overcome heartbreak, encounter a motley assortment of colorful characters, and – ultimately – find love. Th
e Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a thrilling score by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Comden & Green, features the sibling duet “Ohio,” along with “Conga,” “One Hundred Easy Ways” and “Wrong Note Rag.”

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by Clark Gesner and Charles M. Schulz (US/UK)
(Comedy / 4m, 2f)
Two pairs of siblings make their way through life’s ups and downs in this charming musical based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz. Charlie Brown and his baby sister Sally, along with Linus Van Pelt and his domineering big sister Lucy, join Schroeder and Snoopy as the Peanuts gang shares conflict, humor and some deep emotional truths in a delightful revue of vignettes and songs. In the end, despite some powerful sibling rivalry, everyone realizes that “Happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.”

Plays

Amy and the Orphans by Lindsey Ferrentino (US/UK)
(Dramatic Comedy / 4m, 2f)
When their eighty-five-year-old father dies, sparring siblings Maggie and Jake must face a question: How to break the bad news to their sister Amy, who has Down syndrome and has lived in a state home for years? Along the way, the pair find out just how much they don’t know about their family and each other. It seems only Amy knows who she really is.

Familiar by Danai Gurira (US/UK)
(Comedy / 3m, 5f)
Marvelous and Donald, Zimbabwean emigrants in Minnesota, are preparing for the marriage of their eldest daughter, Tendi. They have gracefully blended Zimbabwean culture alongside their American culture, but their house is turned upside down when Marvelous’ sister comes from Zimbabwe to perform a very traditional wedding ceremony in which the groom barters for the bride. Tensions flare and identities clash as the family’s fabric slowly unravels and they are forced to take a hard look at who they truly are.

For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday by Sarah Ruhl (US/UK)
(Dramatic Comedy / 4m, 2f )
When Ann thinks of her father, she immediately remembers playing Peter Pan in her hometown theater in Iowa, particularly when he used to bring her flowers after her performance. Her memory is jogged by the fact that she and her four siblings are in their father’s hospital room during his final moments. His death sparks a conversational wake that includes everything from arguments over politics to when each sibling realized that they grew up. A loving look at a family’s view of death, life, and the allure of never growing up.

The Moors by Jen Silverman (US/UK)
(Dark Comedy / 1m, 5f )
Two sisters and a dog live out their lives on the bleak English moors, dreaming of love and power. The arrival of a hapless governess and a moor-hen set all three on a strange and dangerous path. The Moors is a dark comedy about love, desperation, and visibility.

Peerless by Jiehae Park (US/UK)
(Dark Comedy / 3f, 2m)
Asian-American twins M and L have given up everything to get into The College. So when D, a one-sixteenth Native American classmate, gets “their” spot instead, they figure they’ve got only one option: kill him. A darkly comedic take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth about the dangerously ambitious and the cut-throat world of high school during college admissions.

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson (US/UK)
(Drama / 5m, 3f)
It is 1936, and Boy Willie arrives in Pittsburgh from the South in a battered truck loaded with watermelons to sell. He has an opportunity to buy some land down home, but he has to come up with the money right quick. He wants to sell an old piano that has been in his family for generations, but he shares ownership with his sister and it sits in her living room. She has already rejected several offers because the antique piano is covered with incredible carvings detailing the family’s rise from slavery. Boy Willie tries to persuade his stubborn sister that the past is past, but she is more formidable than he anticipated.

She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen (US/UK)
(Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 6f)
A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games. Following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly, Agnes Evans prepares to leave her childhood home in Ohio. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge.

Sundown, Yellow Moon by Rachel Bonds (US/UK)
(Drama / 4m, 3f)
Ray and Joey, twin sisters, have returned home to their small southern town to help their father in a moment of crisis. He is recently divorced and has just had an altercation with the administration at the school where he teaches. Joey is about to head off to Berlin on a Fulbright scholarship, while Ray has just left her job and a romantic relationship with her boss. The family comes together and sees friends from their pasts, but they can’t get over the ennui that is associated with moving on from where they’ve been to where they will be.

Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, English Version by Sarah Ruhl (US/UK)
(Drama / 9m, 5f)
Transplanted from their beloved Moscow to a provincial Russian town, three sisters—school teacher Olga, unhappily married Masha, and idealistic Irina—yearn for the city of their childhood, where they imagine their lives will be transformed and fulfilled. A portrait of a family grappling with the bittersweet distance between re
ality and dreams.

Yen by Anna Jordan (US)
(Drama / 2m, 2f )
Hench is sixteen, Bobbie is thirteen. They live alone with their dog, Taliban, playing PlayStation, watching porn; surviving. Sometimes their chaotic mum, Maggie, visits; occasionally she passes out on the front lawn. But when Jenny knocks on the door, the boys discover a world far beyond what they know, a world full of love, possibility, and danger.

For more suggestions, check out our website. In North America, visit concordtheatricals.com. In the UK and Europe, visit concordtheatricals.co.uk.

Header Image: 2015 Yale Repertory Theatre production of Peerless (Joan Marcus)