Tag Archives: Wicked

Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.

This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.

I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.

I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.

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Wicked Is A Rather Unusual Musical

WickedThe touring cast of Wicked is in San Diego at the Civic Theatre this month and I had the opportunity to catch the show for a Sunday Matinee performance. A lot of friends have been very surprised that I haven’t yet seen the show as they know I like to see a lot of shows and usually stay pretty current on the top shows. And despite the long run the show had in Los Angeles, I hadn’t seen it yet. So I made sure to catch it this time around.

Did I love the show? No. Did I hate the show? No. Did I enjoy the show? Yes. Would I see it again? Maybe. So what did I think? Well, let’s just say I never thought it would be possible to like a show that I didn’t particularly care for the songs. I enjoyed the story and the visually stunning presentation of the show, but musically, I just wasn’t really connecting with the music on any level. Despite having owned the cast album for several years now, the only songs I really knew were “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” so I was a little disappointed both were in the first act. I was also fighting off the urge to fall asleep during a couple of really boring songs in the first act like “Dancing Through Life.”

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CHESS In Concert DVD & CDs Available Tuesday

Chess In ConcertIf you think the only musical theatre entry of Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA is MAMMA MIA!, you’d be wrong. Shortly after the last songs of ABBA’s catalogue were completed, the members of ABBA decided to take a break from the group, and Björn & Benny decided to try their hand at writing a musical. Tim Rice, well known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, was in the market for new composers to work with for his idea of building a musical around the idea of a Chess championship. After having met Björn & Benny and deciding to work together, the process of bringing Chess to life was born.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice established a successful formula of trying out the songs from shows they wrote in a “Concept Album” format that got released to the public long before a staged version of the show got made. This methodology was an invaluable way to see if the songs were good enough to warrant the time and expense of launching a full scale musical. Instead of going to the expense of launching a full show, it’s a chance to release the album to the public and see if it generates enough interest. If the album tanks, a fortune has been saved, and if it succeeds, then it creates an audience for the show when it gets launched.

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The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

9 to 5: The Musical Is Phenominal

On September 18th, I met up with a few of my friends from the ABBA fan community and we went to a performance of the new musical “9 to 5” now having it’s world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The show is being tested here in Southern California before it heads to Broadway in March 2009.

The musical is based on the movie, “9 to 5” which originally starred, Lilly Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton. The movie and the musical are both written by Patricia Resnick and in the process of bringing “9 to 5” to the stage, Dolly Parton was asked if she’d like to do the music for the show as the movie’s iconic title song has been one of Dolly’s biggest hits of all time. Dolly wasn’t sure she was up to the task but said she’d like to give it a try, and wouldn’t you know it she’s written some brilliant songs for the show. And all of it directed by Joe Mantello, the man behind the direction of the hit musical, “Wicked.”

In the musical, Lilly Tomlin’s role of Violet Newstead is played by Allison Janney of “The West Wing” fame. Allison just inhabits the role and makes it her own. She does a brilliant job especially with the song “One Of The Boys”. Jane Fonda’s role of Judy Burnly is played by Stephanie J. Block who’s recently come from the role of Broadway’s Elphaba in “Wicked”. Stephanie really captures the timidness of the role and lets her independence shine in the showstopper song she gets in the second act called, “Get Out And Stay Out.” And Megan Hilty takes on Dolly Parton’s role of Doralee Rhoades, who recently starred as Glenda in “Wicked”. Megan really seems to be able to channel Dolly and yet still make the role her own. She gives a heatwarming rendition of “Backwoods Barbie” which Dolly herself does on her latest album, get your copy of the song here at iTunes USA or iTunes Europe.

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