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Mythology Gag / Theatre

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Mythology Gags in theatre.

  • Alice In Wonderland Jr uses the first line of music from "It's A Small World" when Alice shrinks.
    • The introduction to the Caucus Race has a few measures of "Under the Sea".
  • The 1995 concert version of Anyone Can Whistle had Angela Lansbury as narrator stating that she was the mayoress of a town much like the one in the musical some 31 years ago "for a very short term." The original production opened in 1964, and ran on Broadway for only one week.
  • The 2013 West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has many of these (in addition to several Internal Homages to other versions of the novel).
    • Charlie's "How'ja do?" Catchphrase in Act One is inspired by the Breaking the Fourth Wall introduction to the character in the opening chapter, in which he, via the third-person narrator, greets the reader with "How d'you do? And how d'you do? And how d'you do again?"
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    • Mike Teavee's favorite videogame is Captain Knuckleduster, a title inspired by the novel's counterpart loving TV shows with gangsters "giving each other the one-two-three with their knuckle-dusters!"
    • The show is set in The Present Day; near the end of Act One, Willy Wonka is explicitly described as having been a Reclusive Artist "for over 40 years" — which is to say, since The '60s, when the novel was published.
    • In the transitional scene between the Nut Room and the Department of the Future, among the It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time inventions stashed away in the lonely cellars of the factory are Square Sweets That Look Round, a Pun-based gag that warranted most of a Breather Chapter in the book.
    • In the novel, there are many inventions of Mr. Wonka's that are only discussed or mentioned in passing such as ice cream that never melts, Eatable Marshmallow Pillows, and Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Those three and several others are worked into this ideas Charlie has. (This is significant.)
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  • In the 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell, "Save the People" ends with Jesus picking clothes out of a costume-rack, including the Superman-styled t-shirt (a reference to his costume in the film), which he rejects.
  • In The Golden Apple, one song has the refrain, "Circe turns men into swine." What makes this a Mythology Gag is that here it's only a metaphor.
  • The Lightning Thief, the musical adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
    • Percy says that his singing will probably cause an avalanche in "The Campfire Song", an allusion to a line in The Last Olympian.
    • Grover discusses getting dam snacks from the Hoover Dam during "Drive", a reference to a joke from The Titan's Curse.
    • During the song "D.O.A." a line from "Come Sail Away" is quoted, a song by the band Styx. The gang are currently in Hades, talking to Charon, the ferryman who brings souls across the river Styx.
  • In the revised stage musical of The Little Mermaid, when guessing Ariel's name during their Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date, Eric references fellow Disney heroines Belle, Jasmine, and Elsa.
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  • The Mrs Hawking play series: in part IV: Gilded Cages, Nathaniel refers to Sergeant Arthur Swann as "[Mary's] nice policeman." This was incorporated into the dialogue because Circe Rowan, the longtime actress playing Mary, always referred to the Arthur character as such.
  • In Pokémon Live!, as in the Pokémon anime, Jigglypuff scribbles drawings on Ash and co. when they fall asleep after she sings.
    • A Dodrio can be heard giving a morning crow like one does in episode one of the anime.
  • In RENT, the guitar riff Roger plays is Musetta's Waltz from Puccini's opera La Bohème, as mentioned in the show. Another snippet from the opera turns up as an interlude in the title song.
    • The first few lines of Musetta's Waltz are copied almost word for word in "Take Me or Leave Me".
    • Not to mention that the line "They call me Mimi" was taken directly from the opera.
  • William Shakespeare did it, making the trope Older Than Steam:
  • Tanz Der Vampire, adapted from The Fearless Vampire Killers, makes the 'ah-ah-ah' melody Sarah and Herbert sang in the bath in the film into a major leitmotif.
  • Wicked has a metric ton of these, mostly based on the famous 1938 Wizard of Oz film. Best example is probably:
    "What's in the punch?"
    "Lemons and melons and pears."
    "Oh my!"
    • When Elphaba enchants her paraplegic sister's silver slippers to allow her to walk, the magic turns them ruby red. This is a reference to how the magic slippers were made of silver in the original L. Frank Baum novel, but were changed to ruby in the film to take advantage of the new Technicolor film process.
    • Elphaba's "Unlimited" aria uses the first few notes of "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow".

Alternative Title(s): Theater


Example of: