Wicked: On ICE!

Wicked.  Ice Skating.  Combine the two and what do you have?  Well… this.

Be sure to look out for the special and random appearance of a broom.

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Budget?

In light of the recent never-ending  discussion of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, one fact about the soon to be (maybe by next year) Broadway musical. $60 million. It’s been no secret that the show is costing somewhere in the ballpark of $60 million.

Who in their right state of mind would make a Broadway musical on a movie budget?* Better yet, what show would I mount on Broadway with $60 million? Cue the list:

1) Wicked: One of the highest grossing and most popular musicals of all time is my first choice. The show’s numbers suggest that the production is doing something right, but I feel like the show can be bigger and better. First, the flying monkeys. Love them to death, but they look a little cartoony. I suggest finding actors that don’t mind being in a show for a long time and instead of strapping wings on them, we surgically attach fully functioning wings to them. Also, Glinda damn well better be riding in on a real bubble, the Tin Man will be made out of tin, Elphaba needs to learn how to fly without a cherry picker, and there best be a lion around. Top it all off by gold-plating the chairs in the Gershwin theatre so that the whole place looks like the yellow brick road and it’s a hit.

2) We Will Rock You: Resurrect Freddy Mercury. Enough said.

3) Batman: The Musical: Everyone knows that Batman is a better character for a musical than Spider-Man is. Besides that obvious point, think about it. What could possibly be better than watching Batman chase the Joker around a scale set of Gotham City… while singing? Dear lord, with $60 million you might even be able to get Adam West to put on a costume… Poison Ivy’s. Don’t tell me I’m the only one that longs to see that. Really? Well alright then.

4) Titanic: I might venture to say that this is one of the more misunderstood musicals of the 1990s, but an interesting piece of theatre. Give me $60 million and I can promise you that you’re going to need a theatre big enough to hold a scale replica of the Titanic. Add in an iceberg that crashes down from the ceiling (Thank you Andrew Lloyd Webber), a hydraulic lift that plunges the ship beneath the stage, and a good enough water pump to fill the audience with ice cold water and we’ve got a fun evening for the whole family.

5) The Little Mermaid: Alright, so maybe it wasn’t everyone’s favorite piece of theatre, but for $60 million I’ll just build an aquarium for the kiddies. Once a week I’ll dress the fish up and play the movie over the intercom.

Alright, investors, make me an offer.

*Yeah, we all know that Julie Taymor is the obvious choice, even if she had never touched Spider-Man.**

**Poor bastard.

This is Miriam!

Chris’s Thespian of the Moment: Miriam Margolyes

A vast majority of people, unless they have been hiding in a closet for the past one-hundred years, should know of Miriam Margolyes. A vast majority of her work has been as supporting characters on television shows as movies. But Ms. Margolyes is much more than that. With her clever timing, brilliant character voices, and dirty jokes; Miriam is one of the most talented Thespians on Earth.

In film, she can be seen/heard in the 1985 version of Oliver Twist, Babe, Little Shop of Horrors, James and the Giant PeachMulan, Romeo + Juliet, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Her theatre performances include playing Madame Morrible in Wicked both on Broadway and as a part of the original West End Cast as well as being in the most recent West End revival cast of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. She also has performed on tour in her one woman show, Dickens’ Women.

Miriam Margolyes has, and continues to have, a marvelous career in all forms of media. Even so, I think that her essence can be summed up with the following quote: Upon being asked what she studied while at university, she replied, “Oral sex.”

I salute you, Miriam Margolyes.

Oliver Richman-Defying Gravity

Nine year old Oliver Richman has become an overnight sensation to anyone that knows or cares about anything Broadway (about seven people). His performance of the song “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked has left more people spellbound than the top ticket price for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. So what’s so special about him?

I was introduced to Oliver when creepy pictures of him kept popping up on the ad-bar for Facebook. These I chose to ignore. When he began making appearances on the news sections of many Broadway websites, I still ignored him. It was not until he began popping up on message boards and people began ripping on him that I decided to check out his video.

It needs to be said that obviously Mr. Richman is talented. He could be out in the world, tipping over old ladies and drinking glue like a normal nine year old, but no. Oliver chose* to show the world his gift of a magical voice, and for that I applaud him. Some other people might not, so here’s hoping that he attends a performing arts school.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what really needs to be discussed is this music video. How has thing won no awards? I was in tears when the old woman** at the beginning of the video expressed her sentiments to the kid. Put this woman on Broadway and give her a Tony***.

Then the singing began. For those of you that are familiar with the song probably know that it is typically sung by a girl with a bad complexion and an unnatural ability to fly****. In this video, none of that happens. Instead, Oliver Richman has to suffer the trials and tribulations of a sunny day on some beach. As he belts through the song, we see him strike the infamous Titanic Jack and Rose pose with someone that can only be considered his sister. Awkward.

But the fun does not end there! Oliver proceeds to move onto many more locations, while clad in a red shirt and sunglasses.  We see him running down a row of miniature columns, looking something like if John Doyle had tried to direct Gladiator*****. The scenes continue as Oliver can be seen twisting, turning, and having a seizure whilst running down a boardwalk, some more beach, and a rather odd looking hill.

The highlight of the entire video occurs right on that rather odd looking hill. Oliver proceeds to tell all of Oz that “No wizard that there is or was is ever gonna bring me down!!!” complete with epic riffs. This is fine when watching Wicked. It’s a bit odd when a nine year old screams it at the hills of California.

All in all, the video is amazing. Watch it, learn it, live it, love it.

6/5 STARS

*Or at least his mother did.

**Mother? Grandmother? Sister with an aging defect?

*** I’ll settle for a Drama Desk Award.

****WITCHCRAFT.