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Foreshadowing / Theatre

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  • In Street Scene, the Gossipy Hens' talk about Mrs. Maurrant's Cheating with the Milkman includes this ominous prediction:
    Olsen: Some day, her hoosban' is killing him.
    Mrs. Fiorentino: Dot would be terrible!
    Jones: He's li'ble to, at that. You know, he's got a wicked look in his eye, dat baby has.
    Mrs. Jones: Well, it's no more than he deserves, the little rabbit—goin' around and breakin' up people's homes.
  • In a A Doll's House Nora has a causal conservation with her children's nurse asking her "if anything ever happens, will you...".
  • The song "The Wizard and I" from the musical Wicked has several examples of foreshadowing. In this song we see starry-eyed teenage Elphaba, who we already know is going to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, fantasizing about being the Wizard's right-hand girl one day. She dreams about "a celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me" after we've just seen the townspeople rejoice at her presumed death. She also says "I'd be so happy I could melt" and "when people see me they will scream." This could also be considered an interesting example of a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • There is foreshadowing with Fiero in the song "Dancing Through Life" whe he sings Life's more painless, for the brainless, hinting at his transformation into the scarecrow with no brain later in the show.
  • The Secret Garden: Martha sings to Mary about what she can do now that she lives out in the middle of nowhere and talks about all kinds of fantastical things to explore out there, including pirate caves and fairies. Tucked into all this fantasy, she sings If you chance to see a garden guarded by a tree and meet a bird who speaks to thee... which of course turns out to be real.
  • In Vanities: The Musical, Mary warns Kathy in the song "Let Life Happen" that her obsession with organizing will "drive her mad", foreshadowing her later nervous breakdown. Kathy recalls this in "Setting Your Sights (What You Wanted)" and "An Organized Life (1974)".
  • Cyrano de Bergerac:
  • Floyd Collins is chock full of this. Such as right before Floyd breaks into his first song:
  • Abundant throughout the Ring Cycle due to Leitmotifs:
    • At the end of Die Walküre, Wotan calls: "He who fears my spear-tip shall never cross the fire!", the Siegfried leitmotif is played, indicating that it'll be Siegfried who'll cross it.
    • The first act of Götterdämmerung has an extremely unsubtle example: Hagen's greeting of Siegfried is accompanied fortissimo by the "Curse" motif.
    • In the third act of Götterdämmerung, Siegfried offers his drinking-horn to his blood-brother Gunther, who takes a look inside, shudders, and gloomily pronounces it a "flat and pale" brew with "thy blood alone within!" Even more grim than Gunther's tone of voice is the accompanying Leitmotif, associated with the soon-to-be-consummated plot to kill Siegfried. Siegfried then eagerly mixes it with Gunther's horn, foreshadowing Gunther's death as well.
  • H.M.S. Pinafore: The Captain's revelation that he can "hand, reef and steer" (i.e. possesses the skills necessary to qualify as an Able Seaman), is a first hint that his family tree isn't all it seems, since Pinafore runs heavily on In the Blood.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the 2013 West End musical) has quite a bit of this, of varying levels of obviousness. Among other things, the grounds of Veruca Salt's house have little squirrel topiaries, foreshadowing her interest in the real critters; a grouchy sweet stall owner sarcastically asks Charlie "You've finally come into your inheritance?" when he buys the Wonka Bar that turns out to contain the last Golden Ticket; and the Flashback about an Indian prince who commissioned a chocolate palace from Mr. Wonka is tweaked to end with him drowning when it melted in the hot sun, presaging several of the bratty kids getting subjected to possible Death by Adaptation for similarly foolish actions later.
  • Cats: In the 1998 stage film, Mistoffelees possessing magical powers is foreshadowed before Rum Tum Tugger reveals it. The opening songs state mystical cats exist; when Mukustrap asks Mistoffelees to open the car boot hiding the Gumbie Cat, he does so with magic; Macavity possesses powers of levitation and hypnosis, and vanishes by using electricity as if teleporting; and whenever there's a change in atmosphere symbolising something mystical (such as the approach of Old Deuteronomy), Mistoffelees is always the first to sense it. Mistoffelees ends up showing that he can teleport cats, control light, produce electricity, vanish in a burst of magic as if teleporting, and cats watching his Conjuring Turn get similar shakes to Munkustrap's hypnosis shakes during the Macavity fight.


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