Robert Horn had a lot of choices when it came to transplanting the story of Tootsie from the set of a soap opera to another milieu—but the lifelong theatrelover set it backstage at a new musical sequel to Romeo and Juliet called Juliet's Curse, in which Juliet lives, Romeo has a twin brother, and the Nurse gets the guy.
Horn proved so adept (and hilarious) at imagining what might have happened after the final curtain that we couldn't help but wonder if he wanted to imagine lives for some of our favorite musical theatre characters, too. Below are some of his sequel suggestions.
I’m No Baby, June
After getting shunned by Louise (aka the Notorious GRL), Rose decides to take her cow head and borrowed mink and move in with Baby June, now nearing 40—though with no actual birth certificate to prove it—and single, after Tulsa relocated to Tulsa to be with a boy he met in the band. In this “stripped down” dramedy, a mother and daughter face the cruel hardships of a career in the theatre as their roles reverse and Rose makes one more attempt at a career. Is it finally Rose’s turn?
Just I—Life Without The King
After the King’s death, Anna remains in Siam where she does a total house redo and oversees radical social reform to the country. Louis grows up and marries Chulalongkorn; Lady Thiang becomes their surrogate. Tuptim and Anna start a daycare center and book club. This musical about how one woman in a satin hoop skirt changed the ideology of a nation the size of a Walmart is something wonderful!
Follie the Leader
In the mid ’80s, faded movie star Phyllis Rogers Stone has come to a crossroads with her has-been husband. Could she leave him? You bet she could. Phyllis takes the baby grand and Chagalls and all that and goes it alone in pre-hipster Williamsburg. But when Sally Durant Plummer McCain flees her Arizona life, the two women must turn their sordid past into a future not dependent on men.
Liesl: The Music Still Sounds
Mourning the loss of Towheaded Rolf and pushed over the edge by the constant blaring of whistles, Liesl moves to New York— where she becomes less innocent than a rose—to live with newly married Baroness Elsa Schräder Carnegie. Brother Kurt soon follows and, along with Max, opens a piano bar called Maria’s Crisis. Back in the Swiss Alps, Maria and Georg open a small B&B as she embraces atheism as an ideological alternative and runs a popular drape-alteration business.
Dogs Sing, Too
In this “out of the box” sequel to Cats, after ascending to the Heaviside Layer Grizabella finds herself not set to be reborn as was previously discussed, but rather at a no-kill dog shelter on Long Island. Only one dog will be the chosen as the adopted one, and Griz is the fickle feline that has to make that decision. This “memory” play is told in nine acts, and takes a comic look at our nation’s sensitive relationship to fur.
The revolution is over and France has a new Prime Minister: Cosette! This one-named wonder-woman and her hunky husband Marius (Pecs De Triomphe) restore civility and culture to a nation scarred by battles and barricades. With their kooky servant, Madame Thénardier, they turn Paris once again into a cultural playground in this rousing Republic retelling.
In a comedic continuation of Sweeney Todd, Toby, now on Celexa and much more balanced, decides to open a bakery of his own: Meat My Pies. Joanna (having ironically lost her husband in a shaving accident) shows up and partners with Toby in this upbeat musical elixir. But can the orphan daughter of a barber and an ex-peddler’s pawn find success—and maybe love—in this big black pit called London with their pie-in-the-sky business?
Bigots be damned in this post WWII fauxmance. Nellie Forbush and Emile De Becque, tired of plantation plantains and the Coconut Canteen, take their two children and move to San Francisco. But this city might be too progressive as Nurse Nellie and a-meal-and-a-half De Beque find themselves tempted by some men that are younger than springtime and the desire to get Bali high. Can this island romance survive the City on the Hill?
Have I Got a Girl For You!
Yente finds herself as a single businesswoman in the new world. Enter Shprintze, now ready to uncover and discover her body and prove that she’s more than a gentle petal from the shtetl. They take the Lower East Side by storm in this “match made in heaven” musical that takes an innocent look at love and dating in the pre-Internet age as the sun rises and sets on multi-generational women saying goodbye to traditions, far from Imperial Russia.
Vera is in rehab. Patrick and Pegeen have moved to Montana. And Mame has relocated to Georgia after Mother Burnside kicked the bucket (she was trampled by Meditation), turning the plantation into a yoga retreat for New York liberals and WWII refugees. Left alone in Beekman Place, Ito and Agnes get married, and, along with toddler Burnside Gooch, they learn to need a little Christmas on their own as they live live live in a world that is way beyond their means.
The Barber of Sayville
Figaro moves to Long Island, changes his name to Figgy, and opens a barber shop in this hair-raising farce about mistaken identity in an opera that… oh, nobody cares.