Opera & Vocal: Wicked 2003 Original Broadway

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Title: Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)
Artist(s): Stephen Schwartz, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel
Release date: 16 December, 2003
Publisher: Decca
Media: Audio CD
Features: Cast Recording

Background Information:
The books are flimsy pretexts on which to hang numbers, one of the most popular concerns about musicals. Wicked runs into the opposite issue: it has a fantastic storyline, but the songs just get in the way too much. Based on the novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire, Wicked tells us what happened before Dorothy turned up in Oz between Glinda the Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. And in the main roles, the show is fortunate to boast a pair of ace leading ladies. Kristin Chenoweth delivers a sensational star turn like Glinda, showcasing a crystal-pure voice and sharp comedic timing; Idina Menzel lends Elphaba’s tricky part to her strong pipes. Sadly, you wish they had better material for which to work. The pop score of Stephen Schwartz is frequently weighed down by unnecessarily synthetic orchestrations and lyrics of sentiment (think Chicken Soup for the Witch). Even, Wicked is a seductive slice of modern culture at its finest, which may well give a younger audience a lasting taste of musical theater.

Track List

  1. No One Mourns the Wicked – Cristy Candler
  2. Dear Old Shiz
  3. The Wizard and I – Idina Menzel
  4. What Is This Feeling? – Kristin Chenoweth
  5. Something Bad – William Youmans
  6. Dancing Through Life – Michelle Federer
  7. Popular – Kristin Chenoweth
  8. I’m Not That Girl – Idina Menzel
  9. One Short Day – Kristin Chenoweth
  10. A Sentimental Man – Joel Grey
  11. Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel
  12. Thank Goodness – Kristin Chenoweth
  13. Wonderful – Idina Menzel
  14. I’m Not That Girl (Reprise) – Kristin Chenoweth
  15. As Long as You’re Mine – Norbert Leo Butz
  16. No Good Deed – Idina Menzel
  17. March of the Witch Hunters
  18. For Good – Kristin Chenoweth
  19. Finale – Kristin Chenoweth

Reviews:

the Best I love it
This is my favorite CD of all times. I listen to it almost everyday. I will always have this CD til the day I die. I would if I could tell the whole world just to listen to this CD and I know that 99.9% of all people would love it!
If anyone know where i can get these lyrics and sheet music please e-mail me. Right now I really need them for something very important to me thx. Buy the CD it is the best one u will ever find!

Most creative show since “Urinetown”
I am shocked by the number of negative reviews of this incredibly creative, brilliant, thought-provoking show and, as significantly, the show’s amazing music and lyrics that leave anyone with a heart skipping out of the Gershwin theater humming the tunes if not belting out the lyrics. This is the stuff that great musicals are made of. Are the lyrics sensitive and caring? Yes. Does that make them trite? Only if you are the quintessential cynic. This show is about being yourself, standing up for something you know is right, overcoming physical abnormality and realizing that your greatness comes only when doing all the above and, critically, being yourself. It is about how there is good in everyone…and bad as well…and often the two are indistinguishable. It is as uplifting as anything Broadway has produced in recent memory. If you aren’t mesmerized by the end of Act 1 and on your feet when Act 2 ends, there is something wrong with your humanity.

The CD? Priceless. While it omits some of the wonderful dialogue, particularly toward the end, it captures the magic of the music. The leading ladies have gorgeous and powerful voices, both having a vocal range that spans several octaves. This is one of those, perhaps, rare occasions when the public, that has flocked to this show in droves, is right and the supposedly more “enlightened” critics are way out in the stratosphere (though somewhere far from Oz).

Wicked Good
Here’s a great example of a spectacular show in which the spectacle enhances the story, rather than hides the fact that there isn’t one. [Insert name of Andrew Lloyd Webber show here]

What I like most about the show is that, unlike many popular musicals, it has ideas, especially those espoused in the Wizard’s numbers: that people need a common enemy to pull them together, and that history is written by the victors. Both of those notions are very timely indeed. But the great thing about Wicked is that in works on a populist level as well.

The show has some minor flaws: most of Elphaba’s numbers end on a reeeeeeaaaaaallllllly looooooong nooooooooooote, which gets a bit much after a while, although the suburban school girls and soccer moms eat it up. And the power ballad in the second act, “As Long As You’re Mine,” is generic and superfluous. But on the whole, Wicked remains a funny, affecting, and satisfying show.

Proof that Broadway has a spectacular future!
It’s all been said here. This music is wonderfully uplifting and inspiring and the singers, mainly the 2 leads, are remarkable. They make the singers of American Idol look like amateurs, which they are. You will not regret making songs like “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” part of your musical experience.

6 Stars!
I have never seen Wicked before, and I HAD never heard the music from it, either. But, the soundtrack was getting fantastic reviews, and everyone that I know that has seen the show/heard the music said that it was great.

But, since not having heard the music or seeing the show, I was very hesitent on buying the soundtrack; I’m very glad I deceided to go ahead and buy the soundtrack.

First of all, I have always been an Idina Menzel fan. Her performance in RENT was spectacular, and I think her voice is phenominial. She really outdid herself in this performance.

Before Wicked, I had never heard of Kristin Chenoweth. SHE IS GREAT! She does such a wonderful job throughout the show, but she sounded extra great in “Popular” and “Thank Goodness.” She does an amazing job.

Overall, I am very pleased with the soundtrack, and the music from this show is the best music I’ve heard in a while (other than RENT).

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