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Wicked: The Grimmerie, a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical Hardcover – Oct 26 2005
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The Good News: The cover and design of the book is amazing. The cover looks old and worn and is even padded. The intricate designs are textured and the book is nice and heavy and thick. The inside design is incredible. Each page (printed on very heavy paper) is made to look old, worn and stained and it's wonderful to look at. As for the actual contents... wow. The production photos are brilliantly printed and include photos from the following casts: Original Broadway Cast, 2nd Broadway Cast (Jennifer Laura Thompson and Joey McIntyre), Original Tour Cast (Stephanie J. Block and Kendra Kassebaum), and the 3rd Broadway Cast (Shoshana Bean and David Ayers). There are very few new photos but there are some. Most of them are from the tour cast (most of Kendra and some of Stephanie and one small one of Carole Kane). There are many interviews with every cast member and many from Gregory Maguire (writer of Wicked the novel) and Stephen Shwartz and Winnie Holtzman (writer of script). There is a step-by-step page of how Stephanie gets green before each show. They have a page dedicated to the dance Elphaba does in "Dancing Through Life" and they teach it to us step-by-step. They have many photos of props and sets and wigs, as well as original costume and set sketches. There is a handwritten page from the book and an early version of Defying Gravity. There is commentary on each song by Mr. Shwartz and this isn't even all of it. So much information to soak up!
The Wicked News: Unlike what some people are saying, the book DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FULL SCRIPT. There are bits of dialogue and a lot of it is summed up in a few sentences. (The Cornfield Scene is completely gone) They cut whole scenes (which is dumb, they are all spoiler free about it, even though they talk about the same parts in interviews). I was so hoping they would make a huge deal about the script and splash the libretto with tons of photos from each scene... It's very, very disappointing, yes. Very. But... ah, well. They also didn't include Elphaba's spells like they said they would. There is also a sad lack of production photos. There are so many wonderful photos and they don't use NEARLY as much as they should have... You should also know they don't include the 4th Broadway cast (Megan Hilty, Ben Vereen) or ANY of the Chicago cast (Ana Gastyer and Kate Reinders)... that really bites. The Chicago sit-down cast is only mentioned and that is a shame. If you are an Original Cast fan you may be slightly disappointed. Instead of using only the original cast photos (like the RENT "bible") they mix and match all the different casts. This would be fine except that if you are a big fan or the Chicago cast or the current Broadway cast (as of Fall 2005) you will be disappointed.
But over all, an AMAZING book. Buy it! It's a must for every Wicked fan. A MUST. This is also a wonderful gift.
I was somewhat impressed and somewhat disappointed by the book.
There are some great interviews, and being a fan of stage make-up techniques, the "greening of elphaba" was pretty interesting to me. Also, the book is very nicely put together, but I would say wait until it goes down to $20 or $15 before you buy it.
The Bad things:
There was a deffinate lack of new material: any big fan of Wicked has seen most of these photos before, and the information has been either read or seen on television specials. I hate to say it, but I think this was put together 'just in time for christmas' to cash in on the Wicked fans.
I am still up in the air: I own the Lord of the Rings behind-the-scenes-book, and not only is it an interesting read, it's also a reference for costuming, make-up, special effects, ect. I find that this book is nice...but that's about it. If you want to give a nice gift to a Wicked fan, this might be what you're looking for, but if they are a HUGE fan, I think that in the long run, you'll be somewhat disappointed.
By the Way:
I've noticed a dissatisfaction with the lack of the libretto: It can be found (for free) at this website:
and can be printed, with a laser printer, in about 7 1/2 minutes and bound in about 3 at your local Kinko's for about $5.
The book does not include the full liberatto, which was dissapointing, as the musical includes songs that are not featured on the soundtrack. However, the short script that is included is sufficient to answer most questions one might have about the plot.
I am more than pleased with this companion to Wicked, which I am absolutley in love with. The pictures in the book include the National Tour Cast.
If you have any doubts about this product please feel free to email my amazon account!
Wicked fans will love this, unless they are looking to reinact the musical, in which case it is illegal, and the full script is not included.
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