Tag Archives: wicked

Something Wicked this way comes

I am excited to see the upcoming stage production of Wicked at the Benedum Center. To prepare myself for the event, I checked out the CD and looked at the vocal selections.  And did you know that the composer Stephen Schwartz was a CMU grad?

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Wicked is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a very clever retelling of The Wizard of Oz from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West.
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There are two sequels to this novel. Son of a Witch,

 and A Lion Among Men

There is a  fourth book in the series,

Out of Oz, which (witch?) is coming soon.
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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, one of our culture’s favorite myths, was written in the year 1900 by L. Frank Baum. There are so many adaptations and permutations and derivatives of derivatives that, when looking up the title in our catalog, Baum’s original appears way down on the list.  Baum wrote thirteen other novels about the Land of Oz.…………..

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There are other musical plays based on this tale (you knew this). The seminal 1939 film The Wizard of Oz itself has been revived as a play in London by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It includes all of the beloved old songs and a few new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The CD of the production is also on its way to our shelves.
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Another is The Wiz (we have the movie, the CD, another CD, and vocal selections) which (witch?) happens to be the very first show I ever saw on Broadway or anywhere.  My grandparents took my sister and me to see it when I was 10. The thing I remember most about this show was that the woman playing Dorothy seemed a little too meek and soft-spoken for the seats we had, way way up in the cheapo section.
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It just so happens that the last show that I went to see was an adaptation of another popular tale.  I dragged my husband to see Spamalot (CDvocal selections) based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, based on the Arthurian legends.
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There is of course another popular musical based on this tale, Camelot (movie, CDvocal score, vocal selections). And while The Wizard of Oz goes back a mere 100 years or so, King Arthur and his associated legends have been making a splash since the late 5th and early 6th centuries.
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Tallys in our catalog:

Based on Wizard of Oz = 250

Keywords “King Arthur” = 428

Keyword “Merlin” = 435

The Music Department has the vocal scores, vocal selections or both to most any musical you can think of, even some very obscure ones. We pride ourselves on this. We have revivals and revised editions as well. We have a large selection of musicals on CD, including London productions, Broadway original casts, and movies—sometimes three or four versions of the same show from different places.

Do you have a favorite modern myth that you would like to see as a musical?  (Star Wars, anyone? Batman? Conan?)

-Joelle

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