Crapsack World/Theater

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Chicago takes place in a completely corrupt world, where love and decency exist only to be taken advantage of. The only good character is Amos, whom absolutely nobody respects. Of all the women on death row, the only one who is executed is the one who is innocent of the crime she was convicted of. Meanwhile, the corrupt lawyer Billy Flynn uses perjury and other underhanded means to get two unrepentant murderesses out of jail.
  • Jerusalem from Jesus Christ Superstar is usually shown to be a downtrodden city ruled over by the Romans, who are usually depicted as having taken quite a few lessons from Those Wacky Nazis or a completely corrupt priesthood that is hellbent on seeing Jesus die. The rest of the people of Jerusalem, as evidenced from scenes in the play including the cleansing of the temple, are pretty wretched, as well.
  • Back in the day, The Merchant of Venice, with its shady moneylending and religious prejudice, was simply portraying reality. Modern productions often update the setting to a kind of dystopian Wall Street, play up the prejudice for all it's worth, and make everybody who isn't Shylock as nasty as humanly possible.
  • London as depicted in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Then again, at the time it was almost Truth in Television. Sweeney's part of the song "There's No Place Like London" pretty much says it all:

There's a hole in the world like a great black pit,
and the vermin of the world inhabit it,
and its morals aren't worth what a pig could spit,
and it goes by the name of London.
At the top of the hole sit a privileged few,
making mock of the vermin in the lower zoo,
turning beauty into filth and greed. I too
have sailed the world and seen its wonders,
for the cruelty of men is as wondrous as Peru.
But there's no place like London!