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Is Wicked Salvageable? 
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Young Hoofer
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
ActingDude17 wrote:
If I want something catchy I'll turn on the radio and listen to whatever pop drivel is playing.

:clap: Well Said.

And since when does economic success entail quality? Hell, the Lion King has been running for God knows how long and it's far from perfect. I'm not proposing that Wicked should be changed in any way to increase economic success, but overall quality in the show itself.

As far as deconstructing themes from Wizard of Oz go, I think that a lot of the success of this show is due to that "deconstruction." Play goers can immediately connect with the show in a way that other shows simply cannot because the subject matter is so deeply rooted in their childhood. All of these benefits are derived from the subject matter, however. Personally, I think that any success the show has are modern influences in the music and the fact that the show is based on a novel derivative of The Wizard of Oz.

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Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
I do believe that a lot of Sondheim's songs are catchy, but that's just me.

I never said that economic success entailed quality. I was addressing the issue of Wicked being 'salvageable', the word usage implying that the show's entire corpus was an irredeemable disaster, which, financially at least, is not true. I also said that comparing it to Priscilla Queen of the Desert doesn't seem particularly charitable to me, because it's one thing to write a score from scratch and another to fill a show with songs from other media.

The derivative nature of Wicked is not unique to that one particular show; most musicals are based on a work of another medium, be it a play, novel, or film. I feel this does not denote quality or legitimacy. I also feel that Wicked manages to divorce itself quite effectively from the novel upon which it is based as well as The Wizard of Oz. Considering many other present-day musicals are Zerox copies of their source material, but with music, this is a notable achievement.

Wicked has also transcended cultural barriers. It does very well in countries where its source material and The Wizard of Oz are not as well known as they are in North America and Western Europe. This is proof that it is not totally dependent on its brand name, so to speak, and has the potential to be its own entity.

The OP was talking mainly about both quality of music and how it is 'doing well'. In both areas, I believe that Wicked is above average. I'm not saying that the score is manna from heaven or that the show is necessarily deserving of its success.

That said, I feel the libretto is simply awful. Any ideas on how one would make it better?


Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
Sorry cant help you there since I more or less (with the exeption stated above) thinks that the libretto is close to perfect.

And I totaly double what you said about that Wicked make succes even where "the Wizard of Oz" is relative unknown and Id like to think its cause off the overall show is to entitling (hope thats the right word) for a wide varity off theathre goers. I am not that big wizard of oz fans and I havent even seen the movie (not what I can recall) or that musical yet but did liked all the great songs in the show after hearing a girl singing Popular and Defying Gravity at a audition tv show.

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Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:47 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
I-I....you win Wicked fans. You've drained me of my will to argue.

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Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:39 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
Hey, off topic but how is the current cast over at the Pantages in Los Angeles? I'm thinking of seeing it since my first time wasn't an overall good experience. There are great seats available for all performances but they are RIDICULOUSLY expensive!! Some center orchestra seats go for as much as $300 depending on the day of the week! That should be illegal!!!

Anyone have a discount code? And how's the lottery? What seats do they offer if you're lucky enough to win that? My memory of the show is fuzzy so I'm getting a cast recording to familiarize myself with it before I go. Which official cast album is the most complete?

Thank you in advance for any advice/help.

You can carry on arguing now, lol.

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Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:57 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
SweeneyTad wrote:
Play goers can immediately connect with the show in a way that other shows simply cannot because the subject matter is so deeply rooted in their childhood. All of these benefits are derived from the subject matter, however. Personally, I think that any success the show has are modern influences in the music and the fact that the show is based on a novel derivative of The Wizard of Oz.


Ah, and there's the big difference between London and Broadway. The whole mythology of the Wizard of Oz is essentially American, not English, and although most English people recognise the Oz characters, it's very far from ingrained. 'Wicked' in London is an interesting American import, not an expression of native mythopaeia. We haven't grown up watching the movie/reading the books/seeing the TV cartoons all our lives. So in London, the show succeeds because of a large American contingent in each audience, and the availability of relatively cheap tickets, and the theatre's convenient proximity to Victoria station, and the quality of the costumes/sets, and... well, whatever else keeps it going. The story is moderately interesting, but rather cliched in essence (Girl Is Awkward And Different, Girl Gets Teased/Bullied/Ignored, Girl Gets Revenge), and the music... over-amplified, over-belted, and Over Here. 'Loathing' is cute and quite witty, but the rest of the musical is eminently forgettable.

Sorry to any deeply enthusiastic 'Wicked' fans, and may your green facepaint never fade, but the show does not appeal to me.

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Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:17 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
I agree with everything above, especially the tidbit about the costumes. However, I think that Wicked is not completely without redeeming values! Hell, some of the lyrics in Popular like, "Don't be offended by my frank analysis, think of it as personality dialysis." is something I could easily hear in a Sondheim show. Then there's the little gem of Wonderful, which is really an excellent song, which is why I first expressed my wish to salvage the show, make some minor (or otherwise) changes to the show to make it quite excellent.

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Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:32 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
Oh, the costumes... the costumes... they are AMAZING. Down to the smallest detail, they are beautifully made, luxuriously tailored, and even costumes that are literally on stage for 15 seconds (the Dancing Through Life section) are gorgeous. Made out of the finest fabrics, and meticulously detailed. There's one jacket that Elphaba wears for part of one scene - a white blazer - it's not just your normal three-panel jacket. Oh no. It has SIXTEEN vertical panels, of the most beautiful ivory damask satin! The costume budget must have been enormous for London. They're more lavish than most Royal Opera House productions.

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Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
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Last edited by gettingagimmick on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
As for the political parts its a lot off them if you take a deeper look behind all the razzle dazzle off the show. Fight for human (aka animal) rights and the miss use off power for example. And I think thats as far as you can go with a show tailored for an world wide audience.

The show is way different from the original novell and if they ever did a tv series or movie based on that novell you would find a lot more off thoose issues I think. (I havent read the novell yet thou.)

As for favorite songs my tend to be Defying Gravity, No Good Deed, For Good and I am Not That Girl.

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Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:04 am
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
I'm a newcomer here and stumbled upon this discussion. I find it interesting, as I thought I was the only person on the planet who didn't like "Wicked." I can't admit it too loudly, as a family friend is currently in the cast on Broadway, and the show has been his livelihood for several years now. We wouldn't want it to end anytime soon -- for his sake.

However, I wanted to toss in that I remember reading a Wall Street Journal article many years ago that said "Wicked" didn't do well on its out-of-town tryouts. Because there was so much money invested in the show and there was great pressure to bring it into NYC on time, a publicity firm was hired to make "Wicked" THE show to see. Rather than fixing the show's problems, instead they (whoever "they" were) apparently decided to go for a marketing campaign.

Word got out that "Wicked" was the Broadway show not to be missed, and it appears that feeling has snowballed all over the world. I've only seen it once -- about four years ago, I'd say -- and I couldn't understand a word of at least half the songs. They made no sense to me, and the group of ladies I went with all agreed they didn't like the show. Our friend the actor was in the touring company at the time and appeared in the show we saw. He was kind enough to give us a backstage tour after the show, and that was far more enjoyable than the show itself. The costumes are indeed incredible and detailed, and each performer's costumes are worth around $100,000. (Not each costume, but each performers' wardrobes.)

I disagree that the show couldn't be worked on at this point in time. I saw "Cats" in London in 1982 when it had been running for about a year, I'd say. When I saw it again in Los Angeles a few years later, it was almost a completely different show. Granted, the lyrics were the same, but it was much more a rock-and-roll kind of experience than the lovely, gentle show I'd seen in London. I've seen several productions of "Cats" since then, and they were all like the L.A. version. None were like the London production. True, the London "Cats" was not as long-lived yet as "Wicked" is, but I would love to see the show take a lengthy break, go through some major reworking, and possibly emerge as a far superior product. If it bombs, so what -- they can always go back to the screechy original.

I enjoy all your comments and your VERY civil discussions, which are rare for an internet chatboard!

Cheers --

Kay


Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Is Wicked Salvageable?
My first viewing was blah. And I want to give it another chance since it's currently here. But the ticket prices are the only thing holding me back. I check daily for last minute deals. The fact I'm spoiled and will only accept seats within the first 8 rows doesn't help, either. Ah well.

Is it just me or does it seem like most fans talk riffing and the 1st act finale 99.9% of the time? lol.

Wicked doesn't irritate me as it used to, but what currently is a popular thing people say that makes me want to advance my genetic predisposition to hair loss by pulling it out of my noggin in irritation, is that it's supposedly in the "mega-musical" category.

That's when you know America is turning musically illiterate real fast.

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Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:55 pm
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