Home » Stephen Schwartz discusses the birth of “Wicked” and his upcoming film starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande

Stephen Schwartz discusses the birth of “Wicked” and his upcoming film starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande

by Stewart Cole

Speaking recently with entertainment journalist Frank DiLella, legendary stage and screen lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz discussed the birth of his landmark musical. Bad, the fifth longest running show on Broadway.

Schwartz, who spoke with DiLella at 92Y in New York, said that while on a snorkeling vacation in Hawaii in the late 1990s, a friend told him about a Gregory Maguire novel. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which he called “so am I in so many ways.” This was the inspiration for the musical, which debuted in 2003 and continues to this day.

Schwartz also said he would write a new song for his film Bad, of which John Chu — director On high level and Crazy rich Asians-will be directed and starring Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda. According to recent press reports, production on the film will begin in the UK next summer.

Schwartz said he did not expect such a thing Bad such a phenomenon would occur. “It has to do with timing, it’s a story for two women, and people were ready for it,” he said, noting that he had composed 46 songs for the musical, of which only 16 remain.

Asked by DiLella what word he associated with his musical Godsaid Schwartz. It is a very happy show and it was a very happy experience “.

He also remembered that he started working on another early musical, Type of apple, when he was an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, where he wrote a play for the Scotch and Soda Theater, a student group. He called this experience “the best possible training to make a musical from the beginning – you learn from your mistakes”.

Never Type of apple which opened on Broadway six years later, said “there was nothing on the college show.” Directed by Bob Fosse, Schwartz said: “It has to do with demons. Bob was difficult. I wish I had some idea of ​​what was happening to him. There was tension between Bob and me in the show – if any of us had made our way completely, he would not be as good as he was. . “Somewhere Bob looks up and laughs.”

Schwartz said he and Allen Menken – with whom he wrote songs for the movies Pocahontas, The hump of the Notre Dame de Paris and Spellbound– they were socially friendly before they started collaborating and that their first song together, Pocahontas“Colors of the Wind” was an “easy collaboration since we had a similar aesthetic and approach”. This song and music of the film won the 1995 Oscars.

Schwartz said he “fell in love with musical theater” when he was nine years old, growing up next to composer George Kleinsinger, who wrote the score for the opera. Archy and Mehitabel, for a cockroach that falls in love with a cat in the alley and its aftermath, Shinbone Alley.

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