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Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked [Paperback]

Carol de Giere
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2008
(Applause Books). Defying Gravity takes readers into the creative world of Broadway and film composer Stephen Schwartz, from writing Godspell 's score at age 23 through the making of the megahit Wicked . For this first authorized biography, de Giere draws from 80 hours of interviews with Schwartz and over 100 interviews with his colleagues, friends, and family. Her sympathetic yet frank narrative reveals never-before-told stories and explores both Schwartz's phenomenal hits and expensive flops. The book also includes a series of "Creativity Notes" with insights about artistic life, and more than 200 photographs and illustrations. "In Defying Gravity, Carol de Giere pulls back the curtain and gives us a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of one of the musical theater's greatest wizards." - Stephen Flaherty, Tony-Award winning composer of Ragtime, Seussical, and Once On This Island "This is a fantastic book, scrapbook, story and photo collection." - Broadwayworld.com "Defying Gravity, which takes its name from the Act 1 closer in Wicked, is not just a he-did-this-then-he-did-this biography: de Giere reconstructs the collaborative process that brought Schwartz's works to the Great White Way." - The Journal News "A wonderful read. And the Wicked section provides a comprehensive account of a thoroughly recondite and even mysterious event: the gestation and birth of a phenomenon." - Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked (the novel), Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men "Trying to reconstruct the writing process of a musical is nearly impossible. Carol de Giere has captured it." - Winnie Holzman, book writer for Wicked (the musical) "This is a loving, in-depth look at the career and process of one of our most important musical theater writers. I am happy to have it on my shelf." - Lynn Ahrens, Tony Award-winning lyricist of Ragtime "A must-have for any of the composer's many fans." - Theatermania.com

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars de Giere's Defying Gravity defies comparison June 15 2009
Format:Paperback
Author Carol de Giere's wonderfully detailed, exhaustively researched book "Defying Gravity" perfectly captures both the career and the life of musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz.
Schwartz's work is thoroughly explored from smash hits like GODSPELL, PIPPIN and WICKED, as well as shows that initially flopped but eventually found their footing thanks to the composer and his collaborator's diligent refining, including CHILDREN OF EDEN, WORKING and THE BAKER's WIFE. An especially unique aspect of the book is the use of "Creative Notes" throughout, giving the reader insight and advice on navigating the challenges of the writing for the theatre. A fair chunk of the book is dedicated to WICKED providing readers with a truly detailed account of the show from the initial idea for the musical through its enormous success as a world-wide phenomenon. Additionally, there are fantastic photos, not only of Schwartz's productions but also shots from his life dating back to his childhood thru more recent times. As well, the book has many "extras" such as the making of the cast recording of WICKED and the specific musical influences on each number in the score of GODSPELL. This is a MUST HAVE for both Schwartz fanatics as well as anyone interested in musical theatre and how it's made.
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