Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Which Shows Need Sequels?

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Which Shows Need Sequels?

Article excerpt

Are there plays or musicals that you'd like to see followed up with a sequel? That's the gist of a recent survey by Playbill.com, which got me thinking.

Are there any shows that I'd really like to see more of, to find out what happens to the characters in the next 10 minutes or 10 years after the final curtain of the original?

We've seen sequels to "Nunsense," of course, and I think I've learned far more about the Little Sisters of Hoboken than I ever wanted to know. Andrew Lloyd Webber has been trying to make a go of a sequel to his long-running "The Phantom of the Opera," but "Love Never Dies" has struggled through a couple of iterations.

If you're going to answer the question, you'd naturally start with the stories you like most, the shows that got you most excited with characters that best drew you into their lives.

And then what? What was about those productions that made you want to see more -- a performer, a particularly composer or lyricist or a certain director? There are so many variables and so many ways a sequel could go wrong.

Among the shows respondents mentioned were "Avenue Q," set some years later and the now-older characters are still trying to find purpose in their lives. If they haven't found it by then, I'm not interested.

There was a mention of "The Drowsy Chaperone," with the Man in Chair playing a different old musical that comes to life in his living room. But didn't we already see that?

"Wicked" is an obvious choice for those who love the show, and Gregory Maguire has written several books on which to base a new show. Of all the shows suggested, this is the only one that makes sense, though "Wicked" is far from one of my favorites.

One reader wondered what happened to Bobby, the central character in George Furth and Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company." He'd be about 77 by now. I wonder if he ever got married, but I'm not sure I really want to know.

Another person suggested a sequel to "Next to Normal," wondering what happened to the bipolar Diana after she leaves her husband.

That reminds me of "A Doll's Life," a musical that followed Nora after she walked out on her husband in Ibsen's "A Doll's House. …

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