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Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 15 dic 2008


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Recensione

Pulls back the curtain and gives us a fascinating glimpse into the creative process -- --Stephen Flaherty, Tony-Award winning composer

This is a fantastic book, scrapbook, story and photo collection --Broadwayworld.com

Not just a he-did-this-then-he-did-this biography: de Giere reconstructs the collaborative process that brought Schwartz's works to the Great White Way --The Journal News

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Amazon.com: 4.9 su 5 stelle 56 recensioni
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The ultimate look at creativity from the inside. Love it. 7 settembre 2016
Di Terrence Walsh - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This well-worn book has been in my library for six years. I read it cover to cover when first received, and have since gone back to it several times. It may be the ultimate inside story of creativity.

Although I had seen Godspell in 1972, I was not keenly aware of Mr. Schwartz until my children chose Wicked for their theatre experience when we visited London in 2010. Clearly I was not the first to be blown away by the power of that musical. I had to know more about the creative development of such a work. That lead me to "Defying Gravity." I actually read the last chapter first, then worked to the beginning by chapters. Odd, but true.

Ms. de Giere's exploration of creativity in the person of Mr. Schwartz is one of the clearest views I've found of what it takes to make something magical. She covers the inspiration, the perspiration, the tenacity, setbacks, trouncings and triumph. That has been very helpful for me and my own creative work.

I was particularly touched by the story of how Wicked was reworked after its pre-Broadway run in San Francisco. The authors--Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman--stood their ground to exercise the power to reshape the show before opening in New York in 2003. The theater is much different from cinema. One of the greatest differences is ownership. A dramatist--in this case, Schwartz and Holzman--may LICENSE a show to a producer but as authors they still own it. Wicked's creative recess between San Francisco and New York is perfect proof of that difference. There are so many stakeholders, so much talent demanding to be put to work. So many egos. So much money, so little time. For me, Chapter 28 is the most compelling in "Defying Gravity."

I found "Defying Gravity" to be engaging, uplifting, insightful, and more. I loved it on first reading and have returned several times to appreciate various parts. That's why I'm writing this 5-star review--I love this book. I hope you find this review helpful.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle A Must Read for Artists 28 luglio 2016
Di Todd Fifield - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I found the book to be both fascinating just as a very good book and very helpful to me as an artist. There are creative notes sections on the chapters that I've found to be very, very useful to me as a writer. Stephen Schwartz shows great insight into the creative process that any artist can use. I suggest buying the paperback version so that these creative notes can be bookmarked easily and referred to.

The last section on Wicked goes through the whole creative process of what is going to probably be the most successful musical of all time. A must for budding musical theater writers.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Great insight into the world of theater 28 luglio 2011
Di Ian Gupton - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
As a complete novice to the world of performing arts, but one that I'm learning more about at the high school where I teach where we have an outstanding program, I thought that the pains and triumphs of the theater industry were extremely well-detailed through the perspective of Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz. It was obvious that the author, Carol de Giere, spent a tremendous amount of time (8 years of research!!!) digging deep for details to create a narrative that not only shows how challenging working in this career field can be, but also what kind of character it takes to survive; Stephen Schwartz is revealed, bumps, bruises and all, to be a dynamic character who strives for the best but is continually faced with the challenges of collaborating with others who feel differently about what "the best" is. From an emotional intelligence standpoint, I feel that this book could be generalized to reflect the skills necessary to succeed in a global eonomy, including the rewards and frustrations of working with a variety of people and their various visions and personalities. The book is written as a painstakingly detailed anecdotal journey of a man who compares himself to the main character of Elphaba from his pinnacle musical "Wicked:" as someone who is often misunderstood, and even punished, for simply trying to do the best he can (similar to your average, ordinary, every day superhero). The book is written with many layers, so there's something for everyone, including quotes, extras, and "Creative Notes" that go behind the scenes and helped an outsider like myself understand the process of musical composition. As an English teacher, there are a number of "Creative Notes" that I thought were extremely relevant and authentic specific to teaching writing that I am planning on integrating into my instruction. All in all, a very entertaining and informational read that can be read for multiple purposes in a way that anyone can thoroughly understand and appreciate.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Defying Gravity - Read It!! 1 aprile 2011
Di David Peugh - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
In 1973, I attended a dinner theatre (remember those?) in Dallas, Texas. Before the play began, a young couple came out to warm up the audience by singing a few Broadway tunes. Midway through their performance, they sang a duet of a romantic song that I had never heard before. The song only lasted about 2 1/2 minutes, but for a young guy of 24 who was a sucker for romance, it was 2 1/2 minutes of magic! After the play was over, the actors and the singing couple stood by the stage to greet visitors. I went up and asked them if they could tell me anything about the song. They told me that the name of the song was "Love Song" and it was from a new Broadway musical called "Pippin" with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the same young man who wrote the music for "Godspell". This is the same Stephen Schwartz who thirty years later would be a multiple Oscar winner and the composer, lyricist and creative force behind the blockbuster musical "Wicked" which has been on Broadway for 7 1/2 years. And, yes, "Love Song" is still one of my most favorite songs.

In Carol de Giere's book, "Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz from Godspell to WIcked", she tells the fascinating story of the life of Stephen Schwartz from his college days to "Wicked" and beyond. It's all there from his early successes with "Godspell", "Pippin" and "The Magic Show" to lesser successes with projects in the late 1970's and 1980's then on to winning academy awards for his work on "Pocahontas" and "The Prince of Egypt" and then to the massive success of "Wicked". Anyone who is interested in the works of Mr. Schwartz as well as the interesting stories behind the scenes in the development of Broadway musicals should read this book. It is too bad that more movies haven't been made of Stephen Schwartz's musicals, but you can read about them in Carol's book and you can buy original cast CDs of shows such as "Pippin", "Wicked", "Children of Eden" and "The Baker's Wife" through Amazon. In addition, "The Stephen Schwartz Album" CD was released in 1999. It features Broadway actors singing some of Stephen's songs and it is a tremendous CD. Also, you can find the soundtracks for "Pocahontas", "The Prince of Egypt", "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Enchanted". In the middle of all of his other projects, Stephen also found the time to issue at least two solo CDs, "Uncharted Territory" and "Reluctant Pilgrim". Trust me. You can't go wrong listening to Stephen's music. In my humble opinion, his songs rival those of earlier giants in musical theatre such as Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe.

The world is a much better place with talented individuals such as Stephen Schwartz and Carol de Giere.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Unlimited! 12 settembre 2011
Di John C. Kunich - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This is by far the finest book ever written about the creative process in musical theatre. Carol de Giere has done an enormous service for all composers, lyricists, playwrights, and theatre-lovers with this intimate and in-depth examination of how Stephen Schwartz brought some of the greatest musicals to life.

If the book contained nothing more than the "Creativity Notes," it would still be worth ten times the retail price. These concise practical asides are overflowing with illuminating insights into how anyone can improve their artistic work. Ms. de Giere made me feel as if I had Stephen Schwartz right there in my home as my personal creative mentor, sharing his hard-won lessons learned from a remarkable lifetime in the theatre.

Although the book rightly devotes much space to the unmatched "Wicked," I learned just as much from reading about Stephen's struggles with rejection and even failure. Every artist can find an "unlimited" trove of treasure here, in studying a career that spans the vast gaps from early fame to decades-long doldrums and all the way back to unprecedented triumph.

In this magnificent book, Carol de Giere has changed us all for the better, and, yes, for good.