We provide this information as a service and do our best to inform our patrons as to content. The question of what is or isn’t offensive is a subjective one, particularly when it comes to determining the appropriateness of plays for children. If you have any concerns, we encourage you to read this guide carefully, view our website guide and/or read the script. The box office is available to address any specific questions you might have.
SYNPOSIS: Cagney is an American rags-to-riches story about a young man who skillfully tap dances his way from the Lower East Side to the silver screen. The award-winning musical follows the life of the legendary James Cagney from the streets of New York to his rise as one of the brightest stars of Hollywood, from a vaudeville song-and-dance man to the cinema’s original tough guy.
LANGUAGE: There is no harsh language but some exclamatory oaths are used.
The language includes several uses of the word “hell,” describing a place, as well as a few uses of “damn.” “God” is uttered twice but not in an irreverent fashion.
SMOKING/DRINKING/DRUG USE: None to speak of. There is a little discussion of smoking and drinking but none is depicted on stage. A Hollywood character wears a costume that includes a long cigarette holder.
VIOLENCE: None that is real. There are a few instances rehearsing movie scenes that depict a punch, and several that include handling and shooting a gun, but it is implied stage violence.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Cagney is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 10 and older. Younger children might be bored by it.
RATING: If it were a movie, Cagney would have a “PG” rating.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT
SYNOPSIS: Tasked with fact-checking an article by a famed essayist, intern Jim Fengel – with a passion for the truth – discovers the inaccuracies in the writer’s work. Caught between artistic expression and the literal circumstances surrounding the suicide of a young man in Las Vegas, the two negotiate and debate on what the truth actually means.
LANGUAGE: There is a fair amount of vulgar language used conversationally, and some used descriptively.
The language includes fairly liberal use of “shit” and “fuck” (in a few variations) and “Goddamn/damn” (a couple of times). A nightclub called the “Pussy Rocket” is mentioned, as well as what you might see there (“vagina,” “nipple”).
SMOKING/DRINKING: There is drinking in the show, but no smoking.
SEX: There is no sex in the play, although there are a few veiled conversations about sexual acts and innuendo that might have occurred at strip clubs.
VIOLENCE: There is a small tussle in a moment of editorial passion, but overall the words fly more than fists.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? The play is suitable for most adult audiences and high school students, who should attend at a parent’s discretion. Conservative audience members may be discomfited by the occasional strong language, and it is not appropriate for pre-teens.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Lifespan of a Fact would be rated “R” for strong language.
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
SYNOPSIS: The play focuses on the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, which has received a substantial bequest and is putting on a performance of a 1920s murder mystery play. During the performance, a play within a play, a plethora of disasters befall the cast, including doors sticking, props falling from the walls, and floors collapsing, leading to a predictably ridiculous but hilarious climax.
LANGUAGE: There is a small amount of exclamatory language. SMOKING AND DRINKING: There are some depictions of drinking, to comic effect.
SEX: None to speak of, although underwear is shown a few times in a flashy manner for laughs, during bits of physical comedy.
VIOLENCE: There are some comic hijinks, played for laughs.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? The Play That Goes Wrong is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 10 and older.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Play That Goes Wrong would be rated “PG.”
SYNOPSIS: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in England by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I—supposedly for the murder of her husband, but actually due to her claim to the throne of England. Her life spared for the moment, Mary has an opportunity to plead for help from her supporters and from Elizabeth herself. Their meeting, though acrimonious, indicates how much the two leaders have in common, and the similar challenges they face from societal, political and religious factions, many of which will resonate with today’s students of history.
LANGUAGE: In keeping with the period depicted, there is no vulgar language.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: None.
SEX: None, though poor behavior by the men in their lives is mentioned.
VIOLENCE: None depicted. Violence is discussed including some brutal scenes, but all occurs off stage.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Mary Stuart is suitable for general adult audiences and high school and junior high school students. Pre-teens may be bored by it.
RATING: If a movie, Mary Stuart would be rated “PG.”
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
SYNOPSIS: A frightened child is comforted by village storytellers with the retelling of the fable of an orphaned peasant girl. Ti Moune falls in love with a boy from other side of the small Caribbean island where they both live, which might as well be a world away. The four gods who rule the island (Asaka: mother of the earth, Agwé: god of water, Erzulie: goddess of love, and Papa Ge: demon of death) arrange for Ti Moune to find love. The heartfelt pursuit of love between the two young people changes the lives of their island and their families forever.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: None.
SEX: None, although there is a tender scene where love-making may be implied.
VIOLENCE: None—it is discussed and threatened, but no violence occurs.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Once On This Island is suitable for all ages.
RATING: The movie version of Once On This Island would be rated “PG or PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: A brilliant sculptor in failing health is forced to deal with his son and his ninth wife, confronting his own mortality and the claims of his family and friends on his art and his money.
LANGUAGE: The contemporary characters in Ass speak colorfully. There is a moderate amount of strong language in the play, enough to qualify the play for an “R” rating.
This language unsurprisingly includes the frequent use of the word “ass,” usually as a noun describing the sculpture or the body part from which the sculpture is derived, but in one case describing a person as an “asshole.” The language also includes three uses of “fuck,” several uses of “shit” or “bullshit,” two uses of “Goddamn,” several uses of “omigod,” multiple uses of “hell” as an exclamation, and the use of “pissed off” to describe anger.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There are no depictions of smoking or recreational drug use, but the characters do drink champagne in celebration.
SEX: None, though it is alluded to on a couple occasions.
VIOLENCE: There is no violence.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? The play’s strong language may make it discomfiting to conservative audience members, and teenagers should attend at a parent’s discretion. It is unsuitable for pre-teens.
RATING: If it were a movie, Ass would be rated “R” for language.
SYNPOSIS: Set in 1595, this original musical comedy follows the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, who struggle to find success in the world of theatre. They must compete with the wild popularity of their contemporary William Shakespeare, who seems to strike gold with every production. To gain an edge, Nick employs a soothsayer to identify the Bard’s next hit, misidentified as “Omelette.” With their troupe, they set out to produce the play—with a revolutionary twist—the first musical ever staged!
LANGUAGE: There is some common vulgarity, and while it will be offensive to some, it is used for comedic effect.
The language includes several uses of “shit,” “ass,” “hell,” “damn,” as well as one “goddammit” and “bitchin’.” The words “penis” and “vagina” are used to comedic effect.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There are a couple instances of pipe smoking. There is one scene where the Puritan Portia is drunk, but other references to wine do not depicting drinking.
SEX: While there are no depictions of sexual activity, much of the humor in this Tony Award-winning play is of the juvenile kind that uses bawdy situations for a laugh.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Audiences who enjoy bawdy but harmless humor should enjoy this. Children aged 10 and younger should attend at a parent’s discretion.
RATING: The bawdy humor would indicate that if this were a movie, it would be “PG-13.”