WICKED...Can a musical be good without good music?

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VinnieTheIceman
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Great set, costumes, performances by the two girls...but the score? You could fall asleep! Can this show get good reviews with this music? Will the score get ripped to shreads? Or has putting millions into the sets and costumes while incorporating a familiar story made it critic proof? Anyone?
BwayTheatre11
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I can't make any statements because I have not seen the show, but from what I hear on the website...the songs sound amazing. Yes, I know they changed those around a little, but they are still amazing.
CCM '10!
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Phantom05
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I agree with BwayTheatre11, from what I have heard on the website, Wicked's music sounds absolutely amazing!!! I cannot wait to see it!

See Ya!

Phantom05
------- "We Drink Your Blood And Then We Eat Your Soul, Nothings Gonna Stop Us Let The Bad Times Roll" -------"Past The Point Of No Return, No Backward Glances, Abandon Thought And Let The Dream Begin"
actorboy
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re: WICKED#3
Posted: 10/12/03 at 9:24pm
Vinnie, you've now posted twice that the music could make you fall asleep. Why are you harping (no pun intended) on this?
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The8re phan
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re: re: WICKED#4
Posted: 10/12/03 at 9:34pm
Acutally, yes Vinnie, you can throw millions into the sets and costumes while incorporating a familiar story and have it be critic-proof. Just ask Andrew Lloyd Webber!!!! At least the score for Wicked is original (not "borrowed" from another composer) & far better than anything than Webber could hope to write, at least in my opinion.
Disclaimer - my screen name here does not imply any fondness to ALW's "The Phantom of the Opera", and in no way endorses or supports any production of said musical
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amneris4ever
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I'm not understanding anyone who says that the score is horrid or boring or what have you. I've heard it all pretty much and I'm quite taken with it. The lyrics are also quite whitty and very clever by times. Lots of foreshadowing and irony in "The Wizard and I" and lots of passion in "No Good Deed" and, yes every musical needs one great camp number and we've got that in WICKED with "Popular". I dunno, maybe it's just that I'm just not very sophistocated but I love what I've heard.
Blah...
Updated On: 10/12/03 at 09:34 PM
BwayTheatre11
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I don't think he was being mean...just stating his opinion.
CCM '10!
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To answer your question, one would have to assume your opinions on the score are correct. However it's just that - an opinion - and one that not everyone shares.

I happen to find the score amazing.
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I agree Amneris. I'm not understanging it either. I've completely fallen in love with the score. I really love the lyrics, they are witty at appropriate points and the serious lyrics bring out emotion. And "Defying Gravity" has become one of my favorite songs of all time, and to me, the song is really moving. "For Good" is another one. I'm really surprised that you didn't enjoy the score. From what I've heard of it, it's among my favorites. I mean, did "No One Mourns the Wicked" "Defying Gravity" and "Popular" really make you want to fall asleep?
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
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VinnieTheIceman
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I am stating my opinion...nothing more and nothing less. Everybody has one and is entitled to their own. The show was ripped apart in San Fran by the critics. What is so different here other than the show being a tight, polished product? Please don't feed me Joel making the difference...he has a minimal part.
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VinnieTheIceman
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P.S. A theatre big wig who has seen the show in SF and NY does not see enough major changes in the show. As he said, there can only be one Movin' Out for awhile. Look at LSOH. It's hard to save an out of town stinker.
Updated On: 10/12/03 at 09:54 PM
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I specifically haven't listened to any of the WICKED songs. I want to be surprised on October 29, when Barry & I finally see it.
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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JEKYLL AND HYDE had dreadful music...wait a minute...it was a dreadful show, too!
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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VinnieTheIceman
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Actorboy, a tad sensitive about Wicked and Kerry Butler? FYI, I thought Kerry was miserable in LSOH, but great in Hairspray. Thought you'd like to know.
actorboy
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re: re: re: re: WICKED#14
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:24pm
Vinnie, you seem to be the one who's "a tad sensitive." I'm flattered that you remembered my defense of Ms. Butler, though.

I'm just curious that you seem to be trying to beat up on a show that so many people have liked.

And, from what I remember reading about the reviews from San Francisco (at least the excerpts on Broadway.com), the critics did not "rip apart" Wicked (it got many positive reviews there). I find it interesting that you'd categorize the reviews that way.

A "theatre big wig" you were speaking to, huh?

Sorry, guy, but there seems to be more going on here than someone "stating" their "opinion."
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re: re: re: re: re: WICKED#15
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:32pm
J/H dreadful music? I will listen to it anyday over RENT. It is so dreadful the musical has played all over the world & the songs have been recorded by other artists. You are entitled to your opinion & I disagree with it.

PS I liked Wildhorns other shows also & enjoy his music.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: WICKED#16
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:03pm
That is a good question, Vinnie. I guess it comes down to did YOU like the show overall, even with a score that you did not care for. Did you have fun? Were you moved? Many scores do not sound great on their first listen.

As for the people judging the score on the 20 seconds that are heard on the web site, that is hardly fair. Of course they are going to put the catchy sound bites there to get your attention, but it is such a couple of short snippets that I don't believe you can form an informed opinion.
PEACE.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: WICKED#17
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:19pm
Suleen....

I've heard pretty much the whole score...
Blah...
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: WICKED#18
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:32pm
Stephen Schwartz writes generic music. That isn't to say its painful to listen to, but it tends to mush together in his shows and rarely does it reach out and transcend the moment presented. He suffers from writing music that isn't modern enough to satisfy rock or pop listeners, nor is it really sophisticated enough to appeal to the more devout musical theater listeners. So it ends up being unsatisfactory on some intangible level, the ballads a bit too vanilla and bland, the comedy not quite stylish enough. 'Wicked' is a story that cries out for a creative and spectacular musical style and yet, in the end, Schwartz has written another crop of tunes that he could plop into any of his shows and distribute to any character and it really wouldn't change much. His imagery's too modern teen angsty, his lyrics, much like the music, lifting at best but never, pardon the pun, taking off.

The score to 'Wicked' is so close but so far. I fear its too far away, even though it has a strong book to carry it. OTherwise it will slide into obscurity like all Schwartz's other scores, liked and painless, but never loved or vibrant.

Yes, I realize there will be all sorts of people chiming in saying how much they love Schwartz's work. More power to you but he's not had a critical nor commerical success in going on twenty years. That's not a fluke. In fact, perhaps its his early successes that had the hand of fate on their side.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: WICKED#19
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:37pm
Schwartz has a distictive style.. you can tell his scores when you hear them. As a comaprison, it is like certain designers.. I can usually tell is Ann Hould-ward di teh caostumes and Dougles W. Schmidt did the. No matter hwo doo or bad, it has their signature on it.

I liek composers/designers that really fade into teh piece and you can't tell right off teh bat "oh that a so and so costume or score".. because it is suites do perfectly and % to the material.. much like William Ivey Long costumes for example.

If that made ANY sense
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Sueleen, I also have heard pretty much the entire score. And I'll ask again: Did "defying Gravity" really make you want to go to sleep? Maybe...you....just didn't get it. haha.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
MusicMan
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Bravo, JohnPopa! So refreshing to read intelligent, incisive and spot-on analyses of WICKED and Stephen Schwartz's scores than the usual undiscerning fan-idolatry from nincompoops that swamps these boards.
John4763
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Wicked#22
Posted: 10/13/03 at 8:24am
I enjoyed both Pippin and Godspell, but as I recall they each only had one or two good songs in them.

Then of course there's Camelot and Finian's Rainbow, which both had great scores but boring/stupid books.

I guess my point is that weak score/good book and great score/bad book musicals can prosper.
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re: Wicked#23
Posted: 10/13/03 at 8:41am
I remember some years ago reading an article about Stephen Schwartz where he said that his greatest musical influence was Carol King. When you listern to his music (particularly Godspell and Pippin) you can hear a Carol King melody trying to get out.
Updated On: 10/13/03 at 08:41 AM
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magruder
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re: re: Wicked#24
Posted: 10/13/03 at 10:11am
Question for the people who don't dig Schwartz's work. What do you think of his score for The Baker's Wife? Apart from one or two of those villager numbers, I think it's head and shoulders above the rest of his output, with much of it simply rapturous. Ironic that it's his most problem-plagued show.
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