Sunday, July 16, 2006

West Enders

There are two musicals running in London that I'd willingly pay full price for: Wicked and Billy Elliot. Both are adaptations--the former, of a book, and the latter, of a film. I have the Original Broadway Cast recording of Wicked and we have a copy of the Billy Elliot movie (my mom loves it more than I do). I think it's safe to say that I'm a fan of both.

Wicked will be in previews by the time I get to London. Rent star Idina Menzel is as green as it gets as Elphaba, the role she originated on Broadway. Australian Adam Garcia returns to the British stage as Fiyero. While I love Norbert Leo Butz's voice, I think Adam wins out with better looks and, well, a better name. I was thinking I'd catch Wicked in 2007, as tickets should be hard to come by, but when I found out that Idina's playing only until December, I think I'll have to wait out in the cold outside the box office for ticket returns, even if they're for SRO previews.

I'm impressed with the dancing prowess of Liam Mower, one of the original Billys (and he's still at it)in Billy Elliot. After watching four different versions of Electricity on YouTube, I'm totally hooked.

What are the alternatives? A lot, actually, including several movies that became musicals (Mary Poppins, Spamalot, Dirty Dancing, Lion King, Footloose); musicals that became movies (The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Evita, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Sound of Music, Rocky Horror Show); and at least one movie that became a musical that became a movie (The Producers).

Methinks I'd much rather like to see some Shakespeare over at the Globe Theatre. Then again, there's Avenue Q. A Lord of the Rings musical is also opening next year.

For musical theater fans (I am one, obviously), the video below needs no explanation. Two of the most prolific composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim play a parody medley of their own songs, Music of the Night from ALW's The Phantom of the Opera and Send in the Clowns from Sondheim's A Little Night Music as a birthday present for producer Cameron Mackintosh. They're not great singers, but four hands, one piano, and funny lyrics make up for the ho-hum vocals.

No comments:

Post a Comment