Jett (jatg) wrote,

  • Music:

Wicked questions...

Some of my friends may know that I am an enormous fan of the book Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I've tried to get others to read it to no avail...and now it seems to be a Jeanette & BJ thing...something we can discuss eternally.

It just got turned into a musical...and I wasn't sure WHAT to think...Wicked is a more introspective book...and the musical sounded loud and bombastic. I found a plot synopsis online...and I really really liked what they had done. They really tightened up the story quite a bit, reworking several characters...but one really threw me. I was really curious why they did what they did to him and tried to find the answer.

Hooray for the internet, I found a page where one could pose questions to the composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

Hi Stephen,

Been a long time Wicked (the book) fan. When my friend introduced me to it and I subsequently devoured it we spent many hours discussing the book, wondering for instance just how significant the Clock of the Time Dragon was, how, when speaking aloud did one distinguish between Animals and animals...
As well as we discussed how interesting a project it would be to make it into a musical. So when we heard it was happening we were thrilled and filled with many ways to screw up...we were terrified for the results. Please be good! PLEASE be GOOD.

And I have to say the music has definitely grown on me. I wasn't sure WHAT to think until I found a plot synopsis online which helped immensely...and for the most part I love the choices made. Now it's pretty much playing nonstop and I've GOT to get myself to New York at some point to see it live with Kristin and Idina. I've heard so much about Defying Gravity I've got to see it just for THAT.

I do have a question about Fiyero or rather a request for an explanation.

I'm curious what sort of evolution Fiyero went through when you were developing the musical. In the book he is a quiet shy prince from the Vinkus...a touch of the foreign upon him with his blue diamond tattoos...(one of my favorite lines from the book was describing Fiyero and Elphaba together...`blue diamonds on fields of green.')

Initially Fiyergo seems just as quiet and baffled and out of phase with the world as Elphaba while at University together. He's never once in Galinda's radar.

And later, he is more at ease with himself, more comfortable with his role of prince of the Vinkus and definitely curious when he comes across Elphie in the Emerald City. They are a most unlikely pair...she a revolutionary and he a married prince diplomat.

I'm wondering how you took him from this shy prince and later Elphie's fated lover to this ...frat boy. The way he speaks and sings, he sounds cocky, smug, arrogant and a bit dim...which is what I guess you were going for. I'm wondering just WHAT Elphaba would see in him. His personality seems much more akin to Avaric in the book.

And while I haven't seen the musical...which I'm sure explains MUCH...again, I'm really curious as to the decisions to so change his character?

Next question: Bok.

I really do love the musical and can't thank you enough for doing it.

"...and did she ever come out?" "Not yet..." until the musical she comes out 2 times day! The Witch is dead! Long live the Witch!

Dear "jatg": You are correct that the Fiyero character in the musical WICKED is more of a combination of Averic and Fiyero (and probably mostly Winnie Holzman's and my creation) than true to the Fiyero character in Gregory Maguire's book. There were many reasons we made this choice -- the importance of Fiyero to Glinda, for instance, which is vital to the plot of the show and, as you point out, doesn't occur in the book at all. Also, Fiyero ends up differently in the show than in the book, so the arc of his character growth necessitated starting him out differently. I'm pleased to say that Gregory Maguire has been very supportive of these changes, as he has throughout our adaptation process. (We did try those blue diamonds on Fiyero's face in San Francisco, but from the back of the house, it just looked as if his face was dirty, so we abandoned them.) Thanks for your interest. Sincerely, Stephen Schwartz

I just think it's cool that he would actually respond. NEAT. I wonder if I can write Stephen Sondheim with a Passion question and get an answer.

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