Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

What started life as unlikely political metaphor and beloved children’s tale, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz became one of Hollywood’s greatest film musical landmarks in 1939, a cultural touchstone that’s spawned a virtually non-stop series of revivals and adaptations ever since. But Godspell/Pippin composer Stephen Schwartz’s 21st century Broadway musical version comes courtesy of a slightly more obtuse take on Baum’s story: novelist Gregory Maguire’s 1995 revisionist prequel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Schwartz’s shrewd formula of fusing traditional Broadway with MOR pop-rock gives Tony-winner Kristen Chenoweth (in the beefed-up role of Glinda) several star turns, while co-stars Idina Menzel (as the misunderstood title character) and Wizard Joel Grey light up “The Wizard and I” and “A Sentimental Man,” respectively.

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