Sunday, December 5

Defying Gravity: 8 Things You Need To Know About Wicked’s Music

Wicked’s music is iconic to this day, and with fans excited for the new movie, here are some details you might not know about.

Evil It has been one of the most famous musicals in the world for just over 15 years, and is known to many as a show that made history on Broadway. His music is known to everyone, even those who have not seen the musical performance. In December 2021, it will also hit theaters, so for those who haven’t seen the original musical yet, it’s wise to catch up before buying a ticket.

The musical tells the story of Elphaba and Galinda, and the journey between two unlikely friends. They vie for the same love interest, argue over the Wizard’s corrupt rule, and ultimately experience Elphaba’s fall from grace. It is a story that holds up well over time and can be interpreted in many different ways, but what it does Evil truly magical is music. Here are some things you may not have known about this iconic soundtrack.

Wicked was a hit from day one

This may not sound surprising today, but even the most successful performance takes time to reach the hearts of the audience. This was not the case with Evil. In just 14 months, production recovered $ 14 million.

Most programs have a 3-4 year period before recovering the full original investment, and those that cannot are often forced to close. EvilThe massive and quick profits made in just over a year are staggering, especially 15 years ago.

“Defying Gravity” was played in space

NASA often provides wake-up calls for astronauts in space. Sometimes it’s based on the astronaut’s request, other times it’s totally up to NASA to decide what to play next. As a tradition, they mostly played melodies and songs that fit the space theme.

The tradition began when Jack Jones serenaded astronauts Wally Shirra and Tom Safford with a parody of the hit “Hello Dolly” in 1965. Decades later, after Evil came out, NASA played “Defying Gravity” to wake up astronauts in space.

Idina Menzel was not the original Elphaba

For the current generation, it’s hard to imagine anyone but the iconic Idinal Menzel like Elphaba on stage, but she was not the first chosen for the role. Actress Stephanie Block initially read the role while the musical was in production.

Block also originated the role in the musical’s 2005 national tour. However, she was quickly replaced by Menzel, who had already earned a Tony at the time for her role in Rent.

Un tributo a «Somewhere Over the Rainbow»

“Unlimited / I’m Limited” has some familiar notes from the world-renowned musical The Wizard of Oz. This is the way the production pays tribute to its roots. Due to copyright laws, this tribute is limited and can only be heard in the first few notes of the song.

Not many people realized this, as the creators of Evil did everything possible to avoid bypassing copyright restrictions. They only added these suggestions in the first few notes, and even those were masked by different rhythm and harmony. It is even written in a different chord, but nevertheless the first seven notes are a nod to uh, the story that inspired Evil.

“Defying Gravity” is one of the hardest songs to sing

Show how Company, Phantom of the opera, Avoid, the Miserables, and more feature some of the most difficult songs in Broadway history, but next to nothing compares to “Defying Gravity.” It is the white whale of songs for performers with a vocal range of Ab3-F5.

The amount of flats and sharps that are added to the song makes it even more difficult to sing along, not to mention the fact that it changes the time signature twice and has five dynamic notations. In addition to the classic «Evil song, «almost everyone else Elphaba classics They are also extremely difficult, making this role one of the most difficult to master.

The musical use of the tritone

On a more technical note, there is another little detail that may be noted by those with an ear for music and a knowledge of musicals. For this, people have to look back West Side Story. At the end of the musical, the creators used a tritone to turn a happy melody into a melancholic one, symbolizing the loss of a happily ever after. The show’s composers brought back the melodies they used for the love sequence and added a low tritone to symbolize devastation and loss.

On Evil, the composers did the same in the last notes when a familiar and majestic melody was balanced and twisted by a low and sinister tritone. Although this may seem like an homage to another famous musical, it is actually quite common in music theory to highlight the loss of something and turn a happy, balanced note into a sinister, unbalanced melody.

Willemijn Verkaik is the oldest Elphaba

This might be a tough pill for Menzel fans to swallow, but the oldest Elphaba is actually a Dutch singer and actress, Willemijn Verkaik. She first played the role in 2007 in Stuttgart, Germany, and her last performance was in 2017 in London’s West End.

She was the oldest Elphaba, having performed the role more than 2,000 times and in three different languages. In addition to her role as Elphaba in Evil, is also the singing voice of Elsa in the Dutch and German versions of Frozen – whom Menzel expressed in the original English.

Stephen Schwartz didn’t just trust his imagination

Stephen Schwartz has perfected the story of Evil. Considering that it is a program that promotes female empowerment and the twists and turns of friendship between women, some might ask how he did it. Although he is a genius of the musical world, he did not want to leave the story only to his imagination.

That is why he consulted his own family. Songs like “Popular,” “Defying Gravity” and “For Good” were based on a friendship his daughter had. Schwartz asked her what she would like to say if she never saw her friend again, and her responses laid the foundation for the songs. In an interview, he said that the reason the musical resonates so well with audiences is that it is not based solely on imagination. “Tell the truth and make it rhyme,” he said, and the statement couldn’t be more true.

The next Evil The film will be released on December 22, 2021.

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