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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Yes, I'm still spending way too much time watching YouTube clips. 
25th-Jan-2007 05:22 pm
And wasting my time with unskilled, pointless rumination. Like, for example, comparing three different peformances of "The Wizard and I" from the musical Wicked (because, as I've discovered, there are a TON of clips from this musical to choose from):

Idina Menzel. Originated the role on Broadway and won a Tony Award. Her voice is youthful and astringent...though it seems a bit untutored. (I mean, what is with that wheezing?!) Her acting is just okay, but her un-"witchy" features are probably working against her to some degree. No stereotypically long face and pointy chin here! I'm inclined to think she became so critically- and popularly-acclaimed less on her own intrinsic merits and more simply because the character of Elphaba herself is so interesting.

Stephanie J. Block. The woman who would have been the first Elphaba--she was the first-choice pick. Mostly, I'm guessing, for her voice, which is truly GORGEOUS. Full, rich, and finely-controlled, she's got the sort of singing voice that makes it all look sound so easy to do. But it's strikes me as almost too mature for the untried, unfinished schoolgirl that Elphaba is in the beginning of the story. Her acting seems about on par with Menzel (although it's a bit harder to tell since her face is bleached out by the lighting). It's really too bad she didn't originate the role. I would've preferred her voice on the original cast album...and, just think!, if she had, she would've gotten the Tony instead. Sucks to be her.

Julia Murney. Currently on Broadway. Her two biggest assets are her witchy look (VERY pointy chin) and awesome acting. (Not necessarily in that order.) Of the three clips, her performance is the only one that made me smile. Whereas Menzel's Elphaba looks like a whipped--if sometimes volatile--puppy half the time in the beginning, Murney goes the 10-inch-thick armor and sardonic self-awareness route. Plus, she's got a well-trained and powerful voice...and if it's not as intrinsically beautiful as Block's, at least she sounds convincingly youthful. I like what she's done with the role, and I wonder how long she'll be doing it. (Not that I can afford to go; the tickets are f*ckin' expensive...but I can wish, right? :P )
25th-Jan-2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
I think we're gonna have to take up a collection to buy you a ticket ^_~
25th-Jan-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
The fuzzy YouTube clips would actually be roughly equivalent to any view from seats from the rafters that I could afford. *sighs*

The tickets cost between $110 to $50. *cringes* I checked. That's more expensive than most musicals.
25th-Jan-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Maybe you'll have to wait for the local high school play version ^^;;
25th-Jan-2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
I can afford to take myself (about 1/3rd a month's salary), but I can't afford to take anyone else. And I don't like going to movies and plays by myself. It's just not as fun.

*shrugs* It's just a matter, ultimately, of how much I want it. Tipping the scales toward wanting it more was seeing how good the current Broadway cast is. :P
25th-Jan-2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Like going to a fancy restaurant by yourself ^^;;
25th-Jan-2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Something like that. Although if I actually lived in NYC and had the money, I'd probably go to plays and musicals by myself all the time. ^^; It's just that, from here, getting to NYC is an "event" in itself.
25th-Jan-2007 10:54 pm (UTC)

Yes, I've made that trip... Drive to the train station, train to Hoboken, PATH to the city, Subway to nearest stop, and then on foot to the theatre... Then spend the whole performance worrying about the return trip in the dark while tired >_< There's a reason I only did that a few times.....
25th-Jan-2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
*shakes head* I'm on a different line now. The first transfer for me would be in Newark.
25th-Jan-2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if that's better or worse... That trip always scared me ^^;;
25th-Jan-2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
*rolls eyes* Why?
25th-Jan-2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
Big crowds, bright lights, lots of noise? ^^;; Plus the irrational fear that I'd get lost, miss the train, etc...
25th-Jan-2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
*laughs* But if you miss the train, there's always another one later. (Unless you're out REALLY late, but you don't seem like the type.)

And I have to say that I like the anonymity of the subway. Everyone studiously DOESN'T look.
25th-Jan-2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
Unless you're out REALLY late, but you don't seem like the type.

Yeah, unless REALLY late is 9:00 pm ^^;;;

See, when I was growing up, you knew that you didn't look at anyone on the NY subways because that could put your life in danger ^^;;; And of course all the drug deals were just something you didn't see.......
25th-Jan-2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
Uh-huh. You sound like a paranoid old lady.

...so, did you actually watch the clips???
25th-Jan-2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
You don't remember the NYC of the 70s ^_~ Or all the crack fun of the 80s....

But I am paranoid like that ^^;;;

I watched the whole second clip, and a bit of the other two to hear what their voices sound like.. Two and three were definitely better than one ^^
25th-Jan-2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
What the end of the third clip, too (from where she gets up from the suitcase to the end). I love her facial expressions. ^_^
25th-Jan-2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hee, yeah.. She definitely has the best look for the part too.. Also lots of foreshadowing in that song "so happy I could melt...." ^_^;;
25th-Jan-2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
There're several references to the melting thing, actually; in the musical, her water vulnerability is just a rumor.

Oh, and check out what she looks like in the "iconic" costume.
I love this clip, too. And pretty much anyone familiar with the Wizard of Oz movie (a.k.a. every native English speaker sans Ariss I've ever met) can appreciate it as a postmodern joke even without seeing the rest of musical.
26th-Jan-2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Yes, the wicked witch outfit is much better than that schoolgirl thing ^_^

Hee, wretched little farm girl ^__^
26th-Jan-2007 12:13 am (UTC)
I think Murney transitions from Misunderstood Schoolgirl to Enemy of the State better than the other actresses I've seen. ^_^

Did you hear Glinda's line in the beginning of "The Wizard and I" clip? "Something's very wrong. I didn't get my way. I think I need to lie down." *dies laughing* You know, you can't tell just from the songs, but a lot of the show appears to be very, very funny.
26th-Jan-2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Something's very wrong. I didn't get my way. I think I need to lie down.

Hee, yeah I did catch that line ^_^ I think I relate to Elphaba a lot better than Glinda too ^^;;
26th-Jan-2007 12:25 am (UTC)
I think I relate to Elphaba a lot better than Glinda too ^^;;

That's kinda the point of the musical, you know. :P
26th-Jan-2007 12:29 am (UTC)

Yeah, I guess so ^_^; Realistically the Glindas and Dorothys are the annoying people you'd just like to slap ^^
26th-Jan-2007 12:31 am (UTC)
I don't think it's a coincidence that this musical was developed and became a hit during the Bush the Second years. :P
26th-Jan-2007 12:36 am (UTC)
Bush as the Wizard and Cheney as Glinda? ^_~
26th-Jan-2007 02:44 am (UTC)
Nah, it doesn't work as easy as that. But the Wizard is all for oppressing minorities and Shock and Awe, while the Witch of the East secedes from Oz and runs a religious/fundamentalist theocracy.
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