This book is a bonanza for those students interested in the step-by-step development of theatrical ventures. They will be gratified and instructed by the creative processes highlighted here. This work is an education. The success of such research ventures rely on the availability of written literary and musical scores source materials, most important of which is the memories of the creative personnel. The author has done well by his sources. Less scientific-oriented musical theater lovers will also enjoy and profit from this work. American Reference Books AnnualVom Verlag:
In 2004, the original Broadway production of Wicked earned 10 Tony nominations, including best musical. Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, the show continues to run on Broadway and has touring companies throughout the United States and around the world. In Wicked: A Musical Biography, author Paul Laird explores the creation of this popular Broadway musical through an examination of draft scripts, interviews with major figures, and the study of primary musical sources such as sketches, drafts, and completed musical scores. Laird brings together an impressive amount of detail on the creation of Wicked, including a look at Maguire's novel, as well as the original source material, The Wizard of Oz. This volume also offers a history of the show's genesis along with examinations of the draft scenarios and scripts that demonstrate the show's development. Laird also explores Stephen Schwartz's life and work, providing an analysis of the composer and lyricist's work on the show through song drafts, sketches, and musical examples. Laird also surveys the show's critical reception in New York and London, noting how many critics failed to appreciate its qualities or anticipate its great success. The unusual nature of Wicked's story-dominated by two strong female leads-is also placed in the context of Broadway history. A unique look into a successful Broadway production, Wicked: A Musical Biography will be of interest to musicologists, theatre scholars, students, and general readers alike.
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