Opinion: Why Wicked should record a 10th anniversary cast album

22 Sep
2016
Posted in: Features
Author: Dries Janssens
Source:
opinion-why-wicked-should-record-a-10th-anniversary-cast-album
The West End tenth anniversary cast of Wicked

#Wicked10 was an extraordinary West End occasion. This British cast should be recorded for posterity. Who agrees? Dries Janssens, from our friends at the Musical Theatre Appreciation Society, explains why...

For years now we’ve been seeing a trend of Broadway shows transfering to the West End. Often times this also means the show will get a West End cast recording even though it already had a Broadway cast recording. That’s the way it’s been for a while, and that’s the way many of us like it.

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Why have two recordings of the same show? Simple, if we listen to a cast recording before seeing the show, it’s nice to hear familiar voices when we see it live. The same goes the other way around. It’s nice to be able to keep listening to those songs sung by the people we heard do it live. Or alternatively, some may think the West End cast is just better than the Broadway one, and they just want a recording of their favourites.

Those are all good arguments in favour of having a West End recording of a Broadway transfer. And yet, the ultimate Broadway transfer still doesn’t have a West End cast recording almost ten years after transfering to the West End and despite it being one of the most succesful West End shows in the last decade. You all know which show I’m talking about, even if it’s just because you read the title. Of course, it’s Wicked. So why did it never happen and, more importantly, could it finally happen now?

As I understand it, there were indeed plans to record a West End cast album of Wicked when it had just opened in 2006. However, it never happened because of reasons that are not entirely clear. But wouldn’t the 10th anniversary be the perfect occasion to finally get it done?

First of all the show has evolved a lot since it first opened on Broadway in 2003. Orchestrations have been changed, some of the dialogue featured on the recording is now different in the actual show, and there are various other small things that changed throughout the years. I know for a fact that many fans would welcome the change. It’s time to get a recording of the evolved version in its wonderful current state. On top of that, many fans – including myself – are annoyed by the fact that “The Wicked Witch of the East” is not featured on the original recording.
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But without a doubt one of the best reasons for making a new recording in London is of course the cast. The current London cast is one of the best, if not THE best, we’ve ever had. With two brilliant and very experienced women in the lead roles, two original London cast members and a very energetic ensemble, it seems like it’s now or never.

And they don’t even have to book an expensive studio. They can follow the recent trend set by shows like Miss Saigon and Kinky Boots, who recorded an album live at the theatre...

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Tags: Opinion