- Dog Sees God is a play featuring thinly disguised versions of the Peanuts cast in high school. Snoopy was put down after getting rabies and killing Woodstock. Lucy is in an asylum for lighting the little redheaded girl's hair on fire and that's the tip of the iceberg.
- Cirque du Soleil's Quidam was intentionally conceived by its creators as a show that would be darker, less whimsical, and more realistic than what the company had produced up to that point. They accomplished this by...telling a story about the commonality of loneliness and alienation through the eyes of a jaded preteen girl who learns to reconnect with others via a trip to a sometimes-melancholy Magical Land.
- Richard Strauss's opera Elektra, based on the Sophocles play but turn the bloodlust and neurotism up to the eleven, and adds a sister-to-sister Les Yay moment.
- King Lear, believe it or not, wasn't a tragedy until Shakespeare got his hands on the story. In the story his audience knew, the story ends with Lear coming to his senses, forgiving Cordelia, retaking his throne and ruling until he finally dies of old age. Poor audience.
- The musical Aida is this to other Disney musicals. No surprise, given that it's based on an opera (which ironically, it is a Lighter and Softer version of).
- The revival of Miss Saigon is this to the original production—which is already quite gritty. But the language and behavior of nearly everyone in the new version is far coarser and rougher than before.
- Ebenezer is a prequel to A Christmas Carol where murder, destruction, and secrets abound that cast a dark light on the original story. Jacob Marley was in love with Scrooge and Fran's mother, kills Fran as an act of revenge on their family, and, on Scrooge's orders, forecloses Emily's orphanage on Christmas Eve, killing all the children there. Scrooge is even worse, because when Charles Dickens reveals this to him, he reveals he'd known about everything from the start and is fine with all they'd done, including viciously attacking Emily himself and ordering the foreclosure.
- Wicked, while lighter than the book, is darker than the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book and film it takes inspiration from.
Darker And Edgier / Theatre