Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Wicked's a guilty pleasure for me. There are fun songs but the book's a mess. Nothing Elphaba does in Act Two lives up to her big boast at the end of Act One. The New York Times called the novel“deadly dull” and the musical "bloated." 12 years later it’s still a hit. When the inevitable movie hits will the screenplay fill the plot holes and show us some of Elphaba’s off-stage activism?

"[Glinda's] lie, on top of the Wizard's lies, made me furious as a kid. And of course I grew up in the shadow of Vietnam, when boys I knew were being sent to kill the Wicked Witch of the Vietcong, by Nixon, who wouldn't come out of the White House and who wouldn't answer questions.'' ~ Gregory Maguire

IDINA MENZEL: Wheelchair Sister, I've been told that you've become a bitch and enslaved the Munchkins.
BITTER WHEELCHAIR SISTER: Yes, I did it because I'm angry that I'm in a wheelchair!
~ Broadway Abridged. 

Edit: Check out this gorgeous collection of Wicked fan art at Playbill.com

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Wiz

I'm super late getting this up and much commentary has already been written about NBC's fabulous production of The Wiz Live.

For more info on the show check out:
Playbill's archive of photos from the 1975 Broadway production.
Peter Filichia's recount of 1974's disastrous out of town tryout.
The New York Times' Wesley Ross gives a passionate defense of the troubled 1978 film.
Tom and Lorenzo analyze the costume design for the 2015 Broadcast.

Next on my list: Wicked!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

He's the Wiz!

I was hoping to have a Wiz/Wicked pairing up by The Wiz Live but life is getting in the way. Meanwhile, if you haven't yet seen The Wiz Live you can check it out here. NBC got it right.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Here's Where I Belong

One wonders whether [East of Eden] could ever have been made into a satisfactory musical. It is too serious- and yet in a musical, lightness is always breaking in. As a result, the climax of the play, the big moment between the unloved son and his unbending father, comes strangely after a jolly family song-and-dance number. The mind cannot adjust so easily. ~ Clive Barnes. New York Times. 1968.

When book changes went in that were not his own, McNally asked to have his name removed from the credits.... Miller relented, and the Broadway Playbill listed “Alex Gordon,” a nom de plume for novelist Gordon Cotler, as author of the book. In spite of the rewrites, much of McNally’s original work remained... A ballet and song in the show about the packing and shipping of lettuce was expectedly awful, as were all the production numbers. ~ Ken Mandelbaum. Not Since Carrie.

The song list includes a number called "Pulverize the Kaiser" and seems to keep the doomed brother Abra alive to sing in the finale: "We're a Home."