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Wicked Buzz


From Shaun S. of London:

"I had already bought the US soundtrack CD, but to be honest I never really got into it. In retrospect unless you have actually seen the production it is very difficult to have any emotional attachment. Still, I bought tickets for Wicked in previews as soon as they were released. Last night was well worth every penny I paid.

"Before the show started a couple from Los Angeles were chatting to me and they said it was in their Top 3 of all musicals. I was surprised as that is quite a tall order esp with the American history of Broadway and off Broadway productions.

"By the end of the first Act I was absolutely overwhelmed....With Idina in the cast I felt I was extremely fortunate, similar to how I felt when Nathan Lane performed in The Producers in London. Idina was amazing and I still get goosebumps when I play "Defying Gravity" - that CD will now be in constant rotation, following the adage that you need to connect to appreciate the music.

"The second Act was also very good and "For Good" being a particular stand out. Helen Dallimore did a great job though I felt she lacked the power Idina has and seemed struggling with the vocal effort at times. Though it was a preview and anyone would seem to struggle against Idina.

"I have seen many musicals, both small and big and this is definitely in my top 3 (as the girls from LA said it would be) and I going to see it again as soon as I can if I can get a ticket."

From Gerry Sloan of London and others

Reports from friends attending previews say that Wicked is constantly receiving standing ovation from wowed audiences. The actors have captured the spirit of the show. Here's a few notes from Gerry Sloan who saw Wicked in New York several times: "The show looks fabulous, beautiful costumes and fantastic lighting. New lighting effects including neon lights in the Emerald city sequence which drew gasps from the audience. Twinkling green lights around the whole stage as well. Lovely new uniforms for Shiz univeristy. Blue/White and very stylish. The theatre has been greatly sharpened up for the production which is a bonus and the auditiorium is bathed in green light."

Couldn't Be Happier

By Nicholas Scrivens and Paul Kessell-Holland

(Saw Wicked in NYC)

With the long awaited West-End production of Wicked finally announced for 2006 a buzz of anticipation and excitement ran through the musical-theatre community in the UK. Of course a "hit" show always sends a ripple across the pond but there is a deeper feeling at work here. Not only does it mark a return to the West-End for Stephen Schwartz, after an absence of far too many years, it is that rare thing in the West-End of the 21st Century an original musical.

Some said it in hushed tones, some couldn't believe their ears but yes it is true, a musical is opening that isn't a "jukebox" show of pop tunes from yesteryear. A musical is opening that is written by someone who has made a career of writing for the genre, writing to further the genre and is writing to tell a story that hasn't been an animated movie with worldwide "brand awareness". Shouldn't be that much of a shock should it? After all Rodgers & Hammerstein managed it, Cy Coleman and Charles Strouse managed it; but in the last few years only a solitary Lord Lloyd Webber seems to have been flying the flag of new writing in an increasingly moribund West-End.

As two young(ish) writers of musical theatre and being English to boot it is with some excitement that we look at the direction Wicked points us in. It is not just a musical comedy or a post-modern take on the legend that is The Wizard of Oz. Dig deeper and there is a great book by Winnie Holzman and some great lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Their work at times has subtle reminders of the painful times we live in post 9/11 and constantly refers back to its premise "are people born wicked, or made wicked?" To paraphrase Galinda, it couldn't be timelier.

Watching Wicked in New York in its first incarnation, we both knew we had witnessed a real master at work; put Wicked under a microscope, and like any great edifice I am sure cracks can be found, but no writers of the last fifty years has managed to take almost every piece of Musical Theatre writing craft and tradition and combine it seamlessly with a modern and relevant sensibility in the way Stephen Schwartz & Winnie Holzman have achieved in this show.

As musical theatre writers we appreciate only too well the awesome amount of work Wicked will have been, but also as writers we know that sometimes everything just seems to come good. As Stephen himself has said, he has caught lightning in a bottle. Two years on, as Wicked at last reaches a West End in dire need of a little magic, his lightning is well overdue.


Don't miss Wicked the Grimmerie: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical

OR buy the Grimmerie at The Ozdust Boutique: The only official source for WICKED THE MUSICAL merchandise

Wicked's 200-page keepsake book designed to resemble the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells that Elphaba uses in the show. (See the musical's Grimmerie in photo - Elphaba gives Glinda the Grimmerie). It includes script passages and lyrics, colour and black/white photos, profiles, inside stories...
Wicked LondonCarol's Wicked UK Site. Carol is also webmaster for the official fan site for Wicked's composer Stephen Schwartz