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7 Classic Shows We Hope Are Actually Prequels

It happened to Harper Lee, it could happen to Sondheim.

In today's biggest literary news, To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has announced that, 55 years after publishing her first masterpiece, she will be releasing her second novel, Go Set a Watchman. The most surprising aspect of this revelation, however, is that this so-called sequel was actually penned before Mockingbird. Now that this new manuscript has been unearthed after spending decades collecting dust in a closet, To Kill a Mockingbird has suddenly become everyone's favorite prequel.

This got us thinking…What if some of Broadway's most treasured works also turned out to be prequels? Here are a few classic "originals" we think may be hiding at the bottom of some Tony Award winners' sock drawers.


1. Prequel: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Sequel: Seven Divorces for Seven Sisters-In-Law


Sure, it's cute watching seven color-coordinated meet-cutes turn into a baker's half dozen trips down the aisle. But the real drama starts when that one divorce lawyer gets his first of 14 phone calls and has to make the hard decision between representing the brides or the brothers. Ladies first? Or bros before ho's? …Incidentally, that's also the title of the musical's showstopping Act 1 closer.


2. Prequel: Pippin
Sequel: Pippin Knows Best


(© Joan Marcus)

Pippin and Catherine are content in their white-picket-fenced-off corner of the sky. Theo is a model big brother to Patty, Peggy, and Jeff — each one an honors student at Charlemagne Community College (go, Mallards!). One weekend, the kids sneak home to surprise their parents on their wedding anniversary. It's a pretty boring musical. Maybe it's best if Stephen Schwartz keep this one in the sock drawer.


3. Prequel: Waiting for Godot
Sequel: Still Waiting for Godot


(© Joan Marcus)

He'll be here any minute.


4. Prequel: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Sequel: Who's Afraid of the Social Worker?


(© 1966 Warner Bros.)

We all love to be flies on the wall for George and Martha's boozy domestic disputes. But we've always felt the play could use a little more tension. Enter Virginia…the social worker. George and Martha have decided to make their phantom child a reality through the miracle of adoption. But first they have to pass the dreaded home inspection. Fingers crossed, Ginny knows how to hold her gin!


5. Prequel: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sequel: Mendacity!


It's 107 degrees, 100 percent humidity, and Big Daddy has chosen this, of all summers, to take his final breath. Brick, a very-pregnant Maggie, and the rest of the heirs have gathered at the family patriarch's sweltering midsummer funeral to pay their respects, or…should we say…steal his cotton-pickin' fortune. When Maggie goes into heat-induced labor in the middle of the service, Gooper uses the distraction to make a beeline for the will. Will Brick realize what he's up to? Or will Lil' Skipper be doomed to a plantationless existence?


6. Prequel: The Glass Menagerie
Sequel: Growing Panes


(© Michael J. Lutch)

Following Amanda's untimely death in a tragic corset accident, Laura is forced to face her fears and go back to business college to complete her education. After landing a job as a typist at Glassman's Glass Co., Inc., Laura shows unexpected promise in the industry and rises through the ranks to become the company's youngest-ever CEO. After finding career success, there's just one thing missing from her life: love. Luckily, a new business merger with the telemarketing service "Gentleman Callers," brings a friendly face from her past straight to her office door.


7. Prequel: Company
Sequel: Grease


Before Bobby became the central character of Sondheim's musical exploration of the highs and lows of marriage, he actually found a protagonist in Joanne, the thrice-married lady who lunches on martinis and bitterness. We've met husband number three, the mild-mannered Larry. But after a hat trick of divorces, she flashes back to her first chapel-bound summer of lovin'. Her divorce from the high-school greaser who won her heart left her so distraught, she decided to reinvent herself with a new name, hairstyle, and drink of choice. Say goodbye to Sandra Dee!