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Spiritual Successor / Theatre

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  • William Shakespeare used a limited number of themes in his works, to the point that some of his plays are almost identical in mood. For example: King Lear, Timon of Athens, and Titus Andronicus are all dark and heart-wrenching tragedies with Bittersweet Endings about great and powerful men who are reduced to insane beggars because of a single decision which was idiotic in retrospect.
  • Director-writer Franco Dragone helmed the bulk of Cirque du Soleil's shows through 1998, and has since struck out on his own. Two of his solo shows, Le Reve (2005, Las Vegas) and The House of Dancing Water (2010, Macau, China) can be seen as spiritual successors to one of his last Cirque efforts, "O" (1998, Las Vegas), if only for the fact that they're all stylized fantasies that take place in, around, and upon enormous pools that can be converted to conventional stages as needed. (Le Reve, which was competing directly against "O", was initially poorly regarded by critics for being little more than a grim recycling of the Cirque effort, and substantial retooling resulted.)
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  • Henrik Ibsen had a number of successor plays: An Enemy of the People follows up the political themes from The League of Youth, with a character from the former play showing up in the latter. Also The Master Builder, who follows the same pattern as a sequel to The Lady From the Sea. Both The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken have themes in common with Brand.
  • Hamilton can be compared to 1776 for a few reasons. Most obviously, it's a musical about the Founding Fathers trying to create America. Although 1776 is a Government Procedural about the efforts to declare independence and Hamilton is a full biography, both have songs about their leads grappling with principles and the need to compromise to accomplish their goals. While 1776 portrays the Founding Fathers as griping, mopey, bored aristocrats who painstakingly earn their "Mount Rushmore" stature by learning to compromise their ethics and rise above their flaws, the Founding Fathers in Hamilton are a mixture of the previously-described aristocrats and young, poor revolutionaries who have a fire lit under them, yet are no less flawed and taken a bit more soundly to task for it. Where 1776 alludes to the fickleness of historians through John Adams' lament that he'll be forgotten and Franklin's ironic "What will posterity think we were, demigods?", Hamilton turns it into a central theme as its principal characters struggle to define and control their legacy. Both Adams and Hamilton were also "forgotten" Founding Fathers in spite of their zeal and accomplishments, whose profiles were raised dramatically by the plays, and had a tendency to piss off everyone around them. (Including each other, in fact; "despised" would be a mild way of describing their mutual feeling.)

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