Monday, November 12, 2007

Wicked: The Grimmerie (A Book Report)

by Balliwon Grunmouer
Guest Ozian Book Report Writer

For my book report, I read David Cote’s marvedible book on the Broadway musical Wicked. Lots of humans have seen Wicked, which is an attempt to tell the true story of Elphaba of Oz, following the theories of her actual survival (giving credence to the sightings at a McMorrible’s on the edge of the Impassable Desert, according to the latest Wizernet reports).

Most Ozians are flattered by the human fascification of our Ozian history, but I for one don’t always apprecify their mis-represtentiveness of our culture. However, even as an educated Ozian, I cannot help but find Stephen Schwartz’s songs hummateous and book-writer Winnie Holzman’s Ozian vernacular is so spot-on, she is like the Mark Twain of our land.

If you haven’t read Wicked: The Grimmerie, it’s the story of the making of the Broadway musical Wicked from when Stephen Schwartz contacted lead producer Marc Platt about musifying it for the Broadway stage to its writing and production—including the nature of book writer Winnie Holzman and songwriter Stephen Schwartz’s collaboration, Stephanie J. Block’s role in the original readings, and the out-of-town tryout in San Francisco. For anyoz interested in how a musical is creativated, it is an interesterous read.

It’s always interesterous to hear artists talking about their creativate choices, and Wicked: The Grimmerie pulls back the curtain for all to see. For each of his songs, we are given Stephen Schwartz’s insights into each, including what role they have in the story, what the germigate ideas were, and his own emotions related to them. Many of the other creative elements—dance, sets, costumes—also get detailed discussion with first-hand words from the creativate talents about what they desired to achieviate.

Often the original cast members get the glory and all those who follow the originals get forgotten. That’s why it’s so marvedible that Cote details the various interpretations of the characters, using original, replacement, and tour cast members to give insights. This not only provides fans a splendalacious insight into the characters, but it is a fascinatious snapshot into the acting craft. The replacement and tour cast members are also given face-time in lusherizing full-color pictures.

The book is not without its teen girl section with fan-girl fluff that provides little more than eye candy, such as “The Primer,” which provides great pictures (always of appreciatance) and such insightful information as that Elphaba is “Frequently Seen With: Flying broom and The Grimmerie tucked under one arm.” I couldn’t live without knowing that.

There’s also a meatified section of the song lyrics with contextual dialogue. Unfortunately, much of that dialogue is summarized in paragraphs, so it’s not very helpful in trying to understand how the songs are integrated. It’s great to have the lyrics there for instant access (illustrated with beautifulized Joan Marcus photographs), but without the full libretto (which would have been most desirated) or at least unedited libretto sectionotions, the selected format for presenting them is kind of pointless.

After reading the book, I gained a fresh appreciation for what Wicked sets out to do and why it has spoken so vividly to so many humans, but what I most appreciated it for was presenting an insightful view into the creative process. I have a feeling many Ozians (and humans too) who like to theatricalize will be surprised at how insightful it is.

So, that is my book report. I am very happy I read it, and I am very very very very very very very sure you will like it too.

But don’t take my word for it.

Balliwon Grunmouer (with some editing assistance from the Broadway Mouth)
November 12, 2007

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