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Theatre / Like Dying Things Do

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Like Dying Things Do is a musical by Ryan and Gina Smith. It focuses on four individuals (Adam, Ellanie, Mr. Rose, and Flynn) as they seek shelter together in an abandoned shopping mall during the apocalypse.

This musical includes examples of the following...

  • Abandoned Area : The entire show takes place within an abandoned shopping mall during the apocalypse.
  • After the End : The show takes place during and after the apocalypse, and it appears that Adam, Ellanie, Mr. Rose, and Flynn are the only people alive for miles.
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  • All Love Is Unrequited : Romantic love within this show is certainly unrequited, with both Ellanie and Flynn's attractions to Adam not being openly returned. However, the show still emphasizes love by focusing on the strength of platonic love.
  • Alone Among the Couples : Although no one officially pairs off, Rose is the only individual who is not part of some romantic entanglement in the show.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People : Flynn and Ellanie especially appear to change for the better as more time passes after the apocalypse. Ellanie, who usually was a slacker, begins to pull her own weight, and Flynn, who was overly controlling and critical, begins to cut people more slack.
  • Big Damn Heroes : Adam heroically rescues Flynn when he is badly injured trying to get supplies.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall : Adam regularly addresses the audience throughout his narration.
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  • Brilliant, but Lazy : In the song "Drive Belt" it is explained that Ellanie was an excellent student in high school but became discouraged after she was rejected from her dream college, and is now very lazy.
  • Bystander Syndrome : Both Ellanie and Rose display this when Flynn is in danger, and neither want to go and help him.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome : Adam displays this throughout most of the show. Rose also displays this at times, especially during his song "How the Story Goes", where he regrets being unable to save Adam.
  • Commitment Issues : Ellaine appears to have commitment issues, particularly shown in her song "Twopenny Words".
  • Deadpan Snarker : Flynn's role, especially near the beginning of the show and during his interactions with Ellanie.
  • Death Song : Adam sings "Pancakes for Breakfast" immediately before killing himself.
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  • Despair Speech : Adam's song "Pancakes for Breakfast" is in many ways a sung despair speech.
  • Driven to Suicide : At the end of the show Adam is so depressed that he takes his own life.
  • Dude, Not Ironic : Subverted when Ellanie remarks that something is ironic and Rose corrects her, only to have Flynn point out that Ellanie did use the term properly and Rose trying to correct her was therefore, in its own way, ironic.
  • Duet Bonding : Ellanie and Flynn become closer after singing "For the Long Haul" together.
  • Dying Alone : Despite having three very close friends Adam ends up committing suicide alone.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number : Most likely "Like Dying Things Do," although a case could also be made for "Pancakes for Breakfast."
  • Even the Guys Want Him : Both Ellanie and Flynn express some level of attraction towards Adam.
  • Family of Choice : Adam, Mr. Rose, Ellanie, and Flynn end up forming their own sort of family together.
  • From Bad to Worse : This happens several times during the show. The main characters are already in a bad situation, as they are possibly the only people left on Earth after the apocalypse. But things go from bad to worse, first when Flynn is badly injured getting supplies, and again later when Adam commits suicide.
  • Grief Song : After Adam commits suicide, the show closes with all the characters singing "It Lingers, It Lasts".
  • Honor Before Reason : Adam demonstrates this trope often, particularly when he saves Flynn despite all the dangers.
  • Incompatible Orientation : During a conversation with Ellanie, Flynn admits that he has been flirting with Adam, implying he has romantic feelings towards him. However, it is never implied that Adam is anything other than straight.
  • I Shall Taunt You : Ellanie picks a fight with Flynn because she thinks it feels unnatural for them to converse civilly.
  • I Work Alone : Adam often rejects other people's offers to help him.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades : Adam could definitely qualify as a jack-of-all-trades. He can play sports, cook, garden, and even teaches Ellanie how to dance.
  • Last-Name Basis : Mr. Roosevelt is simply referred to as Mr. Roosevelt or Rose (a nickname for his last name) during the show.
  • Lonely Together : The four main characters become friends because there is a good chance that there is literally nobody else left in the world, and some friends who you might have absolutely nothing in common with are better than none.
  • Love Triangle : Flynn and Ellanie both show interest in Adam, but he never openly returns their feelings.
  • Manchild : At times Mr. Rose fits this trope due to his love of comic books and his job playing Batman at children's parties.
  • Moral Dilemma : Adam, Ellanie, and Rose all experience this when they are debating whether or not to go find Flynn and risk their safety.
  • Most Gamers Are Male : Subverted when the characters find a way to access a TV and video games, and Ellanie is more excited than most of the men.
  • Musical Chores : Ellanie and Adam sing "Drive Belt" as they try to fix a car.
  • Nothing Is Scarier : The audience knows that the world is ending, however the show never says why or how, leaving the audience to imagine for themselves what could have happened so quickly to put the world in this state.
  • Not So Different : In "For the Long Haul," Flynn and Ellanie (who constantly argue and disagree) begin to realize that they do in fact have a great deal in common and could learn some from the other person.
  • Ordinary High-School Student : Adam was just a normal high school kid, but at the show's onset he becomes forced to take on a lot of responsibility as he is one of four people left after the apocalypse.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love : Although it is left open for interpretation, it is possible that "As Dying Things Do", a duet between Flynn and Ellanie is not any sort of declaration of romantic love, especially considering the way that the pronouns change throughout the song. Rather, it seems as though it is a song of platonic or familial love towards each other and the other members of their group.
  • Plot Twist : Near the end of the show there is a serious plot twist when Adam, the show's main character and narrator, commits suicide
  • Sanity Slippage Song : "Pancakes for Breakfast" is sung by Adam when he is deciding to kill himself.
  • The Smurfette Principle : Ellanie is the only woman in the show
  • Teeth Clenched Team Work : Flynn and Ellanie are forced to work together despite being unable to get along for most of the show.
  • You Are Not Alone : One of the main themes of the show seems to be that even when you are literally one of the only people left on Earth, you are still not alone.

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