Entertainment » Music

Wicked -- Original Cast Recording Deluxe Edition

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Monday Dec 16, 2013
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The Broadway juggernaut known as the musical, "Wicked" just celebrated its 10th year on the Great White Way on Oct. 30th, 2013. Of the several initiatives undertaken to honor the accomplishment, which continues to capture audiences at the Gershwin Theatre, Universal Music has released "Wicked: Deluxe Edition." This 2-disc set consists of the original Broadway Cast Recording, plus a 9-song Bonus CD featuring a number of cuts ideally suited for the "Wicked" fan on your holiday shopping list.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording has been written about extensively, but Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Norbert Leo Butz, and the rest of the cast still sound great after a decade. The amazing studio production, along with strong performances, still delivers Stephen Schwartz’s score with intensity and enjoyment.

The Bonus tracks, however, are equally a pleasant surprise. New recordings by LeAnn Rimes and Delta Goodrem (of "For Good") and Kerry Ellis (a new heavier recording of "I’m Not That Girl" with Queen’s Brian May producing), join a Stephanie J. Block version of "Making Good" (the precursor to "The Wizard and I") with Schwartz at the piano, and a new pop-take retitled, "Popular Song" by MIKA (feat. Ariana Grande), for the teen set who may not have been alive when "Wicked," the fictional biography of the Wicked Witch of the West (from "The Wizard of Oz") burst on to the scene in 2003.

The remaining Bonus tracks feature two cuts each from the Japanese and German cast recordings. The Japanese songs are cute, but Willemijn Verkaik’s vocal on the German "No Good Deed" is one of the most powerful arrangements ever heard of one of the strongest songs in the score. Verkaik has now performed the lead of Elphaba in several productions around the globe, and her voice is a force to be reckoned with.

If you own the original disc, download the Bonus songs that you prefer; if you don’t have the original recording, this 2-CD set is an excellent way to enjoy this musical adaptation of the Gregory Maguire novel.

"Wicked: Deluxe Edition"
Stephen Schwartz
CD and Digital formats
Universal Music Enterprises

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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