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August 23, 2021

More Plays & Musicals for Strong Leading Women


Here’s a broad spectrum of meaty roles for strong women in both plays and musicals. From pioneers in the women’s suffrage movement to contemporary teachers, parents, prisoners, athletes and entertainers, the women in these shows face adversity with strength, determination, and – in many cases – humor.

With historical figures like actress Sarah Bernhardt or baseball player Toni Stone, unsung heroes like the women of La Ruta or Cadillac Crew, and iconic fictional characters like Sally Bowles or Dolly Levi, this list includes something for everyone!



2020 Florida Repertory Theatre production of Alabaster (Nick Adams)

Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4w)
This all-female, darkly comic southern drama explores the meaning and purpose of art. June, an artist, lost her family in an Alabama tornado and emerged physically and emotionally scarred. Alice, a photographer, comes to take pictures of June, and what the two women need from each other transcends the physical. Alabaster asks: What does it mean to be truly “seen?” A play about women. About art. About healing.

Becky Nurse of Salem by Sarah Ruhl (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy / 4w, 3m) 
Out of work and out of love, Becky Nurse is an ordinary but strong-willed grandmother just trying to get by in post-Obama America. She’s also the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was infamously executed for witchcraft in 1692 – but things have changed for women since then, haven’t they? Desperate to raise her troubled teenaged granddaughter right, and also hook up with an old flame, Becky visits a local witch for help. But those spells and potions don’t work out exactly as planned.

Bernhardt/Hamlet by Theresa Rebeck (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3w, 8m)
In 1899, the international stage celebrity Sarah Bernhardt sets out to tackle her most ambitious role yet: Hamlet. Theresa Rebeck’s new play rollicks with high comedy and human drama, set against the lavish Shakespearean production that could make or break Bernhardt’s career.

Brave Smiles… Another Lesbian Tragedy by Lisa Kron, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey and Maureen Angelos (US)
(Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy / 5w)
Master satirists The Five Lesbian Brothers turn their merciless eyes on the history of lesbians in theater, film, and literature in this rollicking, hilarious, and smart multi-character classic. From their dismal yet erotically charged beginnings at the orphanage under the grip of a sadistic headmistress, our five heroines cross continents and a century to face their absurdly tragic ends. Along the way, they experience alcoholism, suicide, loneliness, pill popping, blacklisting, and a malignant brain tumor.

Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4w)
On the day of a much-anticipated speech by Rosa Parks during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, four activists working in a Virginia civil rights office wonder whether the proclamation of equality amongst mankind includes women. With remarkable insight and unexpected humor, Cadillac Crew reclaims the stories of the forgotten leaders who blazed the trail for desegregation and women’s rights and asks: When will the world be ready to embrace women in all their capacity?

2019 Manhattan Theatre Club production of The Cake (Joan Marcus)

The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3w, 1m)
In Bekah Brunstetter’s touching and topical dramatic comedy, a vivacious, conservative North Carolina baker named Della faces a crisis of conscience when Jen – whom she loves like a daughter – asks her to bake a cake for Jen’s lesbian wedding.

Calendar Girls by Tim Firth (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 9w, 4m)
This hit comedy, the fastest-selling play in British theatre history, is based on the true story of eleven elder women who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund. When Annie’s husband John dies of leukaemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money by posing naked for an “alternative” calendar. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their newfound fame.

Dr. Ride’s American Beach House by Liza Birkenmeier (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4w)
It’s 1983, the evening before Dr. Sally Ride’s historic space flight. Hundreds of miles from the launch, a group of women with passionate opinions and no opportunities sit on a sweltering St. Louis rooftop watching life pass them by. Their uncharted desires bump up against American norms of sex and power in this intimate snapshot of queer anti-heroines.

English by Sanaz Toossi (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4w, 1m)
It’s 2008, and four Iranians assemble triweekly in a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) class in Karaj, Iran. The students are led by Marjan, an anglophile who abolishes Farsi from her classroom. They translate Ricky Martin and endure major preposition confusion; they discover how to be funny in English and ponder what they will lose in the process. As the class slowly devolves into a linguistic mess, some students cling tighter to their mother tongue while others embrace the possibilities of a new language.

Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4w)
“I’m walking down the street and there’s a door in the fence open and inside there are three women I’ve seen before.” Three old friends and a neighbor. A summer of afternoons in the back yard. Tea and catastrophe. Caryl Churchill’s convention-defying play juxtaposes backyard tea with environmental disaster, exploring themes of politics, crisis, communication and female endurance.

Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 10w, 15m)
London 1913. Militancy in the Suffragette Movement is at its height. Thousands of women of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their fight to gain the vote. Among them is Lady Celia Cain, who feels trapped by both the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage. Inside, she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into an erotic but dangerous chaos. Her Naked Skin is set at a crucial moment when, with emancipation nearly in sight, women refuse to let the establishment stand in their way.

Is God Is by Aleshea Harris (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4w, 4m)
Is God Is
is a modern myth about twin sisters who sojourn from the Dirty South to the California desert to exact righteous revenge. Winner of the 2016 Relentless Award, Aleshea Harris collides the ancient, the modern, the tragic, the Spaghetti Western, and Afropunk in this darkly funny and unapologetic world premiere.

Jack Was Kind by Tracy Thorne (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 1w)
In this intimate, 70-minute monologue, a privileged woman defends and explores her role in her husband’s illicit behavior. “How could you just sit there?” For ten years, that’s what they’ve asked Jack’s wife. Well, now she’s talking.

Jane Austen’s Lady Susan by Rob Urbinati (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4w, 3m)
Lady Susan, a young widow, flees London and arrives at the country home of her obliging brother-in-law and his suspicious wife. Soon to come – uninvited – are an eligible suitor, her willful daughter, her chatty confidante and a dimwitted bachelor. Lady Susan schemes, but all does not go according to plan as she and her daughter become rivals for the same man.

King of the Yees by Lauren Yee (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2w, 3m)
When her father goes missing, Lauren Yee must plunge into the rabbit hole of San Francisco Chinatown and confront a world both foreign and familiar. At once bitingly hilarious and heartbreakingly honest, King of the Yees is an epic joyride across cultural, national and familial borders that explores what it means to truly be a Yee.

La Ruta by Isaac Gómez (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 6w)
Inspired by real testimonies, and using live music to evoke factory work and protest marches, La Ruta is a visceral unearthing of secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand resiliently in the wake of loss.

Laughs in Spanish by Alexis Scheer (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4w, 1m)
It’s Art Basel, and the stakes are high for the gallery that Mariana runs in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami. And when Mariana’s movie-star mother tries to help out, things get even more complicado. Laughs in Spanish is a fast-paced, cafecíto-induced comedy about art and success – and mothers and daughters.

Letters From Max by Sarah Ruhl, based on a correspondence with Max Ritvo (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 1w, 1m)
An adaptation of Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo’s 2018 epistolary book, Letters from Max: A Poet, a Teacher, a Friendship, this intimate, poetic play explores the relationship between Sarah and her former student, Max. With humor, lyricism and candor, the two friends share letters and poems as Max faces terminal illness and tests poetry’s capacity to put to words what otherwise feels ineffable.

The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2w)
Zoe, a Black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

Nine Night by Natasha Gordon (US) 
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 5w, 2m) 
When Gloria passes away, it falls to her British-born children to host the traditional Jamaican Nine Night celebration. Family and friends, familiar and unfamiliar, arrive to celebrate the life of the woman who connects them all and deal with unfinished business along the way. Nine Night is at once moving and raucously funny. Gordon paints the rituals of grief, the tensions of family and the complexities of identity with an acute eye and razor-sharp wit. 

No One Is Forgotten by Winter Miller (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2w)
Lali and Beng are hostages. No one knows where they’ve been taken or if they’re alive. Or, maybe their story has been broadcast to the world? A story about intimacy, surrender, and the will to live for someone else.

2017 Lincoln Center Theater production of Pipeline (Jeremy Daniel)

Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3w, 3m)
Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away?

POTUS by Selina Fillinger (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 7w)
An uproarious Broadway debut by playwright Selina Fillinger, POTUS Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive is a riotous comedy about the women in charge of the man in charge of the free world. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, the seven brilliant and beleaguered women he relies upon most risk life, liberty and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble.

The Revlon Girl by Neil Anthony Docking (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5w)
Eight months after the Aberfan Disaster of 1966, in which 144 people were killed (116 of them children), a group of bereaved mothers meet weekly above a local hotel to talk, cry and even laugh without feeling guilty. At one of their previous meetings, the women looked at each other and admitted how much they felt they’d let themselves go. Afraid that people will think them frivolous, they’ve secretly arranged for a representative from Revlon to come and give them a talk on beauty tips.

Shakespeare’s Sister by Emma Whipday (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5w, 7m, 1 girl, 1 boy)
“What would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say…?”
Virginia Woolf
Judith Shakespeare has one ambition: to be a playwright. When her debt-ridden father forces her into an engagement, she runs away to join her brother in London. But when Judith arrives in the plague-stricken capital, she finds her brother gone and her play refused. Judith and the players confront poverty in the midst of economic depression, and Judith must choose between succumbing to social pressures and following her dream, no matter the cost.

The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 1w, 1m)
When Bella Baird, an isolated creative writing professor at Yale, begins to mentor a brilliant but enigmatic student named Christopher, the two form an unexpectedly intense bond. As their lives and the stories they tell about themselves become intertwined in unpredictable ways, Bella makes a surprising request of Christopher that neither knows if he can fulfill. Brimming with suspense, Rapp’s riveting play explores the limits of what one person can ask of another.

2019 Roundabout Theatre production of Toni Stone (Joan Marcus)

Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1w, 8m)
Toni Stone is an encyclopedia of baseball stats. She’s got a great arm. And she doesn’t understand why she can’t play with the boys. Lydia R. Diamond’s vibrant new play about the first woman to go pro in the Negro League features a bullpen of players crossing age, race and gender to portray all supporting roles. Toni Stone is about staying in the game, playing hard, playing smart and playing your own way.

The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2w, 3m)
A wacky and heartrending look at the effect of senility on a family, The Waverly Gallery features a spectacular role for an older actress; Eileen Heckart won an Obie and Elaine May won a Tony Award for playing Gladys, the elderly matriarch of the Green family. Gladys has run an art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel for many years. Always irascible but now increasingly erratic, Gladys is a cause of concern to her daughter, her son-in-law, and her grandson, who tells the story of this poignant memory play.

Wedding Band by Alice Childress (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 8w, 3m)
It is the summer of 1918: There is a war in Europe, and a smaller war in South Carolina. Julia is an African American seamstress. Herman is a white man who has kept company with her for years. As their growing attraction accelerates into an affair, they must face the prejudices and wrath of ignorance in early 20th-century America.

What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1w, 1m, 1 girl)
Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into the U.S. Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 10w)
Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.



2017 Broadway production of Anastasia: The Musical (Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

110 in the Shade (Revised) by N. Richard Nash, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 2w, 5m +Ensemble)
This beautiful, touching musical adaptation of Nash’s stage play The Rainmaker explores love, hope and redemption in a small southwestern town during the Great Depression. In the tiny town of Three Point, traveling con man Bill Starbuck promises the local farmers he can conjure some much-needed rain. Lizzie Curry, the show’s spunky, complex and deeply lonely heroine, blossoms as she pursues a romantic relationship with the charismatic stranger.

Anastasia: The Musical by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4w, 5m, 1 girl +Ensemble)
This dazzling show transports its audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing con man and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love and family.

Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin, Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields and Peter Stone (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3w, 6m, 2 girls, 1 boy +Ensemble)
Irving Berlin’s crowd-pleasing tuner features one of the strongest leading ladies around! Annie Oakley is the best sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s show, but when her star power threatens to overshadow the man she loves, can she beat him in a final shoot-out?

As You Like It by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 5w, 6m)
A ravishing new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic story of chance encounters and self-discovery, As You Like It is an immersive, dreamlike tale of faithful friends, feuding families and lovers in disguise. Featuring an original folk-pop score by Shaina Taub, this 90-minute musical features a dynamic female lead in Rosalind, guided by a female narrator, Jaques, who takes a compelling journey of her own.

Bella: An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5w, 7m)
Set in the Old West, this world-premiere musical comedy tells the tale of Isabella “Bella” Patterson, a young black woman in late 19th Century America. When Bella boards a train west to reunite with her Buffalo soldier sweetheart, she encounters the most colorful and lively characters ever to roam the Western plains. Bullets and fists will fly, heads and hearts will break, but – blessed with a big heart, and a voluptuous figure – Bella will breeze on through it all.

Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, John Van Druten, Christopher Isherwood, John Kander and Fred Ebb (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 8w, 8m)
Daring, provocative and exuberantly entertaining, Cabaret explores the dark and heady life of Bohemian Berlin as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Of course, the show features the iconic Sally Bowles and the Kit Kat Klub singers. But the stage musical also showcases a meaty role for an older actress; Fraulein Schneider, the jaded landlady originally played by legendary singer/actor Lotte Lenya, sings several of the show’s strongest songs.

Calendar Girls: The Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth (UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 10w, 5m, 1 girl, 2 boys)
Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s musical adaptation of Firth’s hit play – based on the true story of eleven elder women who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund – is a rousing, heartwarming, hilarious celebration of life and friendship. Praised by critics and adored by audiences, the blockbuster show is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

2018 Classic Stage Company production of Carmen Jones (Joan Marcus)

Carmen Jones by Oscar Hammerstein II and Georges Bizet (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 6w, 10m)
Set in a Southern town during World War II, Oscar Hammerstein’s adaptation of Carmen captures the romance and tragedy of Bizet’s melodic opera with a distinctly American flavor. The fiery title role has showcased the talents of dynamic actresses from Muriel Smith to Dorothy Dandridge to Anika Noni Rose.

Dangerous Daughters by Annemarie Lewis Thomas and Nick Stimson (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 11w, 3m)
This powerful musical tells the story of three remarkable sisters, set against the First World War and the Women’s Suffrage movement. The Pankhursts are a family divided. Christabel dedicates her life, at all costs, to the cause of women’s emancipation, By 1918, when the battle has finally been won, Sylvia is estranged from the Suffragettes and from her own mother and Christabel, and Adela, the youngest, has been banished by Christabel to Australia.

Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 5w, 3m)
This intriguing and beautiful folk opera delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience. Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of immortal King Hades and Lady Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling sung-through musical features several compelling roles for women, including conflicted Eurydice, brash, confident Persephone and the audacious, harmonizing Fates.

2017 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! (Julieta Cervantes)

Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart, Jerry Herman and Thornton Wilder (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5w, 4m +Ensemble)
Does any musical comedy leading lady compare to Dolly Levi? This musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s hit play The Matchmaker bursts with humor, romance, energetic dance, and some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history. Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” is a dynamic feast of a role, as evidenced by performances from megastars like Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler.

In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6w, 6m)
In the Heights tells the universal story of a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures — where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. Nina, who feels disconnected from her Puerto Rican roots, has dropped out of college and doesn’t know how to tell her family. Vanessa, working at a hair salon, dreams of carving a space for herself beyond her neighborhood.

Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Samuel Spewack and Bella Spewack (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3w, 7m +Ensemble)
Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication and behind-the-scenes high jinks, Kiss Me, Kate features several great roles for women, including headstrong Lilli and carefree Lois.

Marie Christine by Michael John LaChiusa (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 10w, 6m, 2 boys)
A powerful retelling of the tragic Medea myth set in late 19th-century America, Marie Christine chronicles its doomed heroine’s journey from a genteel life of privilege in New Orleans Creole society through betrayal and incomprehensible vengeance in boisterous Chicago. This gripping tale of one headstrong and passionate young woman’s all-consuming love for an ambitious sea captain provides a tour-de-force for its leading lady.

The Matchgirls by Bill Owen and Tony Russell (UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 13w, 5m)
This compelling musical tells the story of a strike by the girls in a match factory in 1888, when unions were still groping for recognition and mass withdrawal of labour was an almost unheard-of strategy in industrial relations. At a workplace where young girls had their jaws rotted away by phosphorus, and discipline was maintained by a system of crippling fines and sanctions, desperation turns Kate, the tenement girl, into a reckless strike-leader, and complicates her courtship with a docker named Joe. Annie Besant, the liberal reformer, champions the strikers’ cause and plays a vital part in their ultimate victory.

Oh My Nellie Bly by Annemarie Lewis Thomas and Nick Stimson
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 16w, 8m)
The musical tells the story of Nellie Bly, America’s first female journalist. In a profession dominated by men, in the late 19th century, Nellie was determined to become one of the profession’s brightest lights. To get herself noticed, Nellie undertook a series of daring and outrageous stunts, including committing herself to New York’s infamous insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island and circling the globe in less than 80 days. By turns comic and tragic, Oh My Nellie Bly is the story of a brave pioneer who sacrificed love and happiness to achieve her ambition.

Queen of the Mist by Michael John LaChiusa (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 3w, 4m)
This powerful, soaring musical tells the astounding true story of Anna Edson Taylor, who, in 1901, at the age of 63, set out to be the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design. Navigating both the treacherous falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, Anna vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, moralizing family, anarchists and activists. Queen of the Mist is the story of a single great fall, and how one woman risked death so she could live.

1998 Broadway Production of The Sound of Music (Joan Marcus)

The Sound Of Music by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7w, 4m, 5 girls, 2 boys)
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s final collaboration features several great roles for women, from the plucky, determined heroine to a naïve teenager, a jaded countess, a wise Mother Superior, and a variety of charming children and nuns. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, has won the hearts of fans all over the world, and continues to delight audiences more than six decades after its premiere.

Sunset Boulevard by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, Christopher Hampton and Billy Wilder (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 2w, 6m)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning masterwork of dreams and desire in the land called Hollywood features one of the greatest leading roles in musical theatre. In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis stumbles into her reclusive domain and agrees to help her write a screenplay. Joe soon becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic existence – until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free.

A Taste of Things to Come by Debra Barsha and Hollye Levin (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4w)
A laugh-out-loud, fabulously fun romp exploring women’s history and celebrating the friendships of four very different women from middle America. In 1957, four friends enter a Betty Crocker Cooking Contest in hopes of changing their lives. When they meet up again in 1967, they get more than what they bargained for… just a little taste of things to come. The show’s original score reflects the chart-topping songs from the 50s & 60s, incorporating the pop, soul, folk and R&B grooves of the era.

Twelfth Night by Kwame Kwei-Armah & Shaina Taub (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4w, 7m)
Named one of the best theatrical productions of 2018 by Time, The Hollywood Reporter and The Washington Post, Twelfth Night is a rousing contemporary musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy about mistaken identity and self-discovery. Featuring an original jazz-funk score by Shaina Taub, with a flexible-sized cast and 90-minute run time, Twelfth Night features several strong women, particularly the central character of Viola, who disguises herself as a man to compete in a man’s world.

Unexpected Joy by Bill Russell and Janet Hood (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4w)
Unexpected Joy
is the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where change is in the air. In modern-day Cape Cod, Joy, a baby boomer and proud hippie, is holding a memorial concert for the other half of her popular musical duo, Jump & Joy. When her tightly wound, conservative daughter and her sweet, rebellious granddaughter arrive from Oklahoma, sparks fly. A heartfelt and hilarious story celebrating diversity and acceptance, Unexpected Joy weaves folk-rock, pop, and blues in a fresh, dynamic score.

Well-Behaved Women by Carmel Dean (US/UK)
(Musical Revue, Drama / 9w)
This contemporary song cycle for 4 to 20+ women is a celebration of many historic women who fought to have their voices heard and bravely made their mark on the world. Woman such as Billie Jean King, Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra and Malala Yousafzai bring their incredible stories to life through powerful, emotional and often hilarious songs, leaving audiences entertained, moved and inspired.

For more great plays and musicals, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.

Header Image: 2019 Yale Repertory Theatre Production of Cadillac Crew (Joan Marcus)