Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: Wicked-The Grimmerie

Meant to be a companion to the musical based on the original novel of Wicked by Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Grimmerie is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes view of the musical from the book to Broadway. It's titled The Grimmerie after the magical book from both the novel and musical that Elphaba(the Wicked Witch of the West)uses.

The book covers the timeline leading from the original Wizard Of Oz novel to Wicked, plus how it went from being a screenplay for a proposed movie(before the one they're planning on doing now)to instead a musical extravaganza. Also included is the history of the choosing of the staff and cast, the music by Stephan Schwartz, taking the show on the road, plus a breakdown of the music numbers and some of their lyrics. The best is the detail that goes into describing the characters and how the actors perform them, how the sets and costumes are designed, and a look at the entire story as a whole(warning: spoilers included!).

There's a really distinct feel given to this large hardcover. It's modeled to look slightly like the actual Grimmerie from the book on the outside, and the interior gives the impression of an ancient tome mixed in with a turn-of-the-century publication. There's some wonderful art by W.W. Denslow and John R. Neil from the original Oz books, along with great photograps from the show and its production. I'd recommend this as a collectors item or gift mainly for anyone who has already seen the musical. There are copies still available on Amazon, Barnes And Noble, and other book dealers.

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