Last week, PBS had a special on the history of Broadway musicals. I caught a few minutes of it as my wife was watching. They were discussing a relatively new musical (one year old), Wicked. It looked fairly interesting, so when I saw it on the Showtunes section of MusicMatch, I thought I'd take a listen.
Wow! This musical has completely blown me away. The music is original and evokes emotions greatly. Various musical styles are blended together without seeming incongruous. But more importantly, the music really helps to tell the story, which is a great one.
The musical is set in the Land of Oz and gives the “backstory” of the familiar movie. It tells of the friendship of Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West from their school days, and how the Wicked Witch became ... well, Wicked. It is an engaging adaptation of Gregory Maguire's book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
And all of that without having seen the musical yet! Apparently there are some plot twists not revealed on the official or unofficial sites I've seen. See the unofficial site for more info on the musical and the composer, Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote the music and lyrics for The Prince of Egypt.
There's a tour planned for Spring 2005, and if I have the chance, I'm definitely going to go see this one.