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Key changes in ALAYM 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

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Post Key changes in ALAYM
So I was wondering how well received was Taye Diggs as Fiyero - more specifically how ALAYM was transposed to fit his voice. Was there a backlash?

Also, has this occurred again, or was it more of a stunt cast so that Menzel and Diggs were playing opposite each other?

A question pointed more toward the writing of the musical...at what point did Norbert Leo Butz become involved? Were "Dancing Through Life" and "As Long as You're Mine" composed with him and his range in mind? I know Schwartz composed aspects of songs based on Chenoweth's voice, and I'm curious if that extended to Butz.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:58 am
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Broadway Legend
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I can help with the last question a bit:

Apparently Schwartz had a very hard time writing the song that is now 'Dancing Through Life' - Fiyero was played by so many different people throughout the workshops (including David Burnham, Adam Garcia and, I'm told, Raul Esparza) that it was hard to get a good feel for the character and song placement. He went through a lot of different styles, including something Sondheimy.

In San Francisco before the show moved to Broadway, they used 'Which Way's the Party', but it didn't really work with Norbert Leo Butz' voice, so Schwartz wrote 'Dancing Through Life' and settled on that.

'As Long As You're Mine' is a different story. It was one of the composer's trunk songs, so he just shoehorned it into the story without changing much.
I wouldn't call it stunt casting with respect to Taye Diggs - he was the understudy for a while, right? Then temporary cover when Butz was injured. I wouldn't really say either he or Idina Menzel would be famous enough for their partnership onstage to be a huge draw.

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Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:31 pm
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Tony Winner
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I've always wondered if Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel were in a few shows together as their respective characters. Of course, now I'm wondering how many shows they were in together. It's definitely fitting by the fact that they're married to each other. ;)


Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:22 pm
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Taye and Idina met during Rent and also worked together in The Wild Party. She's guest appeared on his television shows, and I know she had a small part in a movie he was in(I can't recall the name of it).

I personally am not a fan of Taye's Fiyero. His acting was fine, but I didn't like his DTL, and hated his ALAYM. Disapointing, as it's usually one of my favorite songs from the show.


Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:32 pm
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As a singer who ALAYM is a bit too high for, I'm also interested on how the song was transposed for Diggs' voice.

On a side note, SJB played opposite Sebastian Arcelus for a bit while they were engaged.

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Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:10 pm
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Tony Winner
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ActingDude17 wrote:
As a singer who ALAYM is a bit too high for, I'm also interested on how the song was transposed for Diggs' voice.


I'll have to check out a youtube video of his performance, but I believe the song started out in the same key as it does for Elphaba's voice, and then when it modulates for the second verse, it was a whole step lower, or maybe even 3 semitones lower. That would roughly make sense, cause then the highest note for Diggs would be an F with an optional G (a la Butz's "It's up that I fell").

I think DTL was in the original key


Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:46 am
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Is DTL's highest note untransposed an F?

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Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:42 pm
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Here's Idina and Taye singing As Long As You're Mine in the lower key. Idina has to make a lot of changes to make the harmonies and stuff work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C203wGTFP5A

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Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:33 pm
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Tony Winner
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ActingDude17 wrote:
Is DTL's highest note untransposed an F?


I believe so. Or an F#. I'll have to check the sheet music @ home.


Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:59 am
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Tony Winner
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I know ALAYM was also transposed for Joey McIntyre. I think Taye's version was a bit better, maybe just because of the Chemistry between Him & Idina.

There are two videos of Joey's ALAYM on Youtube (one w/ Idina & one w/ Shoshana(man that girl is AMAZING!)


Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:02 pm
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Tony Winner
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Vichysois wrote:
ActingDude17 wrote:
Is DTL's highest note untransposed an F?


I believe so. Or an F#. I'll have to check the sheet music @ home.


I was wrong. I checked the songbook...which as far as I can tell is correct. The highest note is a G, and it occurs several times, but it's not held very long. The F's get held a lot more.


As far as ALAYM goes, I watched a few videos; For Diggs, the song was transposed down 3 semitones at the key change, making the highest written full-voice note an E, with the falsetto ("for us as a pair") being an F#/Gb).

I also found one of Joey Mcintyre, and his version of the song was transposed down 2 semitones, making the highest written note an F, with the falsetto being a G.

While those changes are welcome to lower voices, I still find that the original key sounds best for the song.


Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:26 pm
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Tony Winner
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I'm surprised they Transposed it for Taye & Joey. wouldn't it have been easiier to have them sing the high parts falsetto (I've heard a couple Phantom's do their parts in the Title song in a lower voice w/o transposing it so i Know it can be done.


Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:58 am
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