Broadway Prequels: Wicked, Peter and The Starcatcher, and….


Star Wars had the most famous prequels — A sequel that portrays events which precede those of the original work – and they remain more common on the screen than on the stage.

But Wicked, Stephen Scwartz’s musical, has become one of the most successful Broadway shows of all time by imaging the events leading up to “The Wizard of Oz,” and now the play “Peter and the Starcatcher” imagines how Peter Pan (and Captain Hook and Tinker Bell) came to be.

In a contest to win a pair of tickets to Starcatcher, I asked what would make good prequels for the stage.

.  The most frequent suggestions: Alice in Wonderland,  Mary Poppins, Moulin Rouge, Rent….and Harry Potter

Complete suggestions below, arranged alphabetically:Image


Alice in Wonderland

Okay we’ve tried Alice in Wonderland REMAKES, but a Wicked-style Alice prequel… now THAT would be cool (Chris Barlow)

Alice in Wonderland gets so many stage treatments, I think it would be amazing to see the world BEFORE Alice got there — maybe how the Queen of Hearts rose to power? (Suzan Perin Eraslan)

If memory serves me, I think there is in fact material in the original books that addresses her life apart from the Banks children…(Ellen Burns)


Beauty and the Beast

How the beast becomes the beast. (Emily Fusting)


The Bible

the current starting point seems somewhat arbitrary (Matt Kennedy)


Breakfast at Tiffany’s

It would be fascinating. Her mysterious past is such a huge part of the film/book. (Kate Eminger)



Who wouldn’t love a young Sally Bowles? 🙂 Would be awesome if Liza made a cameo! (Lisa Vigna)



It would be fantastic to see Rick and Ilsa’s time in Paris together (Kristen Renda)



with a focus on Mamma Morton. I’d love to see how she ended up where she is, and what she was like before Velma & Roxie. (Jacqueline Sibille)



All for that Joanne/Bobby storyline. (Eden Tuckman)


The Drowsy Chaperone

I’d be curious to see when the man in the chair started to get obsessed with the album and to see if there were any other albums that he was obsessed with before Drowsy (Brian)


Fight Club

so we know what happened to the narrator before he meets Tyler Durden for the first time (Jeff Walsh)



To see the beginnings of Sam and Molly’s relationship; how they first met, their vacations, all the references that Oda Mae uses to get Molly to open the door. Maybe a little about Carl and Sam’s friendship too. (Michele Woodward)



those fabulous 50’s where the fun times never end and the music lives on and on (Sharon Lyons Wardlow)


Grey’s Anatomy

I’d like to see a prequel to Grey’s Anatomy. The one episode that did flash back to her mother and the height of the AIDS scare was amazing. Would love to see more instances where medicine wasn’t as advanced as it is today. (Nathan Burris)



Who was Rose before she had children? Was she ever on the stage? What was her first husband like? (Sara Lou Wolter)


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 C’mon- the marauders and Snape and Lily and conflict oh my! (Allison Pichowicz)

I’ve always been interested in the Marauders’ era but I’ve also been interested in the books’ story from other characters’ perspectives. When I was about seven, I was determined to write a fanfiction that was the entire series from Hermione’s point of view. Needless to say, it was way too massive an undertaking for a seven year old, but I think the other points of view are really interesting. Think about Dumbledore’s past leading up to his death, including his interpretation of the events of the series. Wow. (Sierre Hermione Fox)



The Hunger Games

I’d love to find out what Panem was like before the Districts existed. (Michelle Farabaugh)


La Cage (Betsy Post)


The Little Mermaid.

 I always wanted to see how Ariel grew up (Dani Gitelman)


Mary Poppins

Capture HER childhood… was she always “practically perfect”? Did she leave a boyfriend behind for her career in nannyhood? Where did she get those magical powers of pulling anything out of her carpetbag? (Marta Myers Gillilan)

How did she and Bert know each other before? (Annabelle Malibago Kline)

Where did she come from? How did she get her “powers” and where did supercalifragilisticexpialidocious come from? (Ryan Brinson)



To see what made Felici’s mom so scared of the entertainment lifestyle and all that (Andrey Patino – the winner of the drawing, picked randomly through


Moulin Rouge

 Love the director’s style, would love to know more about Satine! How’d she get to be a dancer? What was the place like before her?I think it’d be great! (Liz Ackerley)

I loved how they used modern music in the film and I feel like there’s still so much more that could be done. (Allie Cornblath)


The Music Man

How did he end up a traveling salesman? Who were the girls in every town he seduced before? What was the relationship between old Miser Madison and Marian? (Shannon Reed)


Next to Normal

It probably wouldn’t be best for Broadway but I’d like to see the full back story. We see bits and pieces of how Dan and Diana got together and what happened when Gabe died, but those parts have always moved me so much, I’d like to see more about it. (Sierra Hermione Fox)



What Teiresias and his lover were doing the night before he told Oedipus that he (Oedipus) was the reason for the plague et al. Why? Because I wrote it. (Lynda Crawford)



I sort of want to know the story of Fagin before the events of Oliver. maybe a bit of how Bill Sykes got to be such a bastich. (Robb Johnston)


One Man, Two Guvnors

Wouldn’t it be crazy to see a prequel to One Man, Two Guvnors, watching Francis growing up and becoming obsessed with food…we’d see his awkwardness in school with the ladies…I think it’d be very cool…especially if it starred a younger James Corden. (Brad Buchholtz)


Phantom of the Opera — Mme Giry interests me because she knows so much of the Phantom! (Liz Sager)



Focusing on Bernadette and the Le girls (Alesandra Klug)



I want to know “what happened to Benny, what happened to his heart and the ideals he once pursued (Brian Rangell)

We know some of the past of the characters, but it’d be interesting to see it full out. (Nicole M. Wright)



Rocky Horror Show

All about the back story of the fabulous, enigmatic Frank N. Furter (Sarah Packard)


Sweeney Todd!

Would love to see a development of his character and what happened before he became the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Christine DeLuca)


 Venus in Fur

Then I might actually understand the ending (Ashley Fedor)


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

 It would be interesting to see the relationship between Martha and George before the madness.. if there was such a thing as before the madness. (Bridget Rooney)


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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