Kerry Ellis IS Wicked.

There is this woman.  Her name is Kerry. She sings the shit out of Defying Gravity.

Once upon a time my good friend Kaitlin and I spent about 7 minutes watching this video comparing every woman who has ever played Eponine in Le Mizerables. The entire video consisted of more than 20 different girls singing the climactic 10 words:” A world that’s full of happiness that  I have never known!”  Over and Over. and while it felt a little funny it was hard to take your eyes off of the subtitled names as the girls repeatedly belted away.

Recently I was able to relocate this video, which led me to look up other Broadway comparisons on youtube. Naturally, there are videos that do this for the show Wicked. And Naturally it’s the song Defying Gravity.  Now  I had heard Kerry Ellis sing this song before because friend Robert, of the Broadway Research League (here after referred to as BRL), had been intensely studying the song for the entire month of march 2010.  Thing is  that was a studio recording and with all of today’s tech stuff I can hardly tell if someone is AS increadible as the recording sounds.

So I’m watching this video comparing all of the different Elphabas when Kerry Ellis comes blaring through youtube. MAN. she sure is salty.

I am always entertained by how they each choose different places to riff and snarl.  It’s like any time anyone sings the song they have to mark it with their special sequence of added vocal gymnastics. It’s getting to the point where I can distinguish them immediately simply because one sings: ooo-oh ah oh OOOO vs. OOO ah  ah OOO  OOOO and so on.

Once I’ve established that Ms. Ellis is my favorite I do one quick search for her name and the song title and up comes this video.  She’s performing a version of the song from her album Wicked, In Rock live at the Royal Variety Performance 2008.  Even if Wicked is old news to those of you reading, I think this rock-concert version merits attention. If you are short on time… do yourself a favor… it gets ridiculous at 2:08. :0)

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Breaking the Rule of Three, Part 3: Divas

One last aspect of the rule of three (before I can move on and do a post about sex already!) is that often times characters in stories come in 3’s. This can be bears, mice, stooges, pigs, fates, fairies, angels, goats gruff, sisters, wizard kids, tenors, kings etc.  The idea being that and trios are inherently funnier, cooler or more sexy (in the case of the goats gruff).

It is also possible to have a trio of divas. I know what your thinking, aren’t those crazy divas meant to just to stand ahead of the pack a screlt out powerful solos? Well it turns out that over the years Broadway thinkers and makers have gotten smarter and smarter about combining the powerful known types of Diva into super molecules of fabulous. These creations keep getting more and more complex. The brief history can be summed up in my good friend Robert Coverdell’s Theory of Diva Evolution:

In the beginning, shows had only one Diva (this was before the technology existed to have sassy women share stages).  This is the Ethel Merman type.  She would blare out a brassy number and kick and swear if someone even mentioned the spotlight leaving her. Gypsy is a great example of a show that is constructed around one major diva character. Streisand characters often play for all the marbles as well.

The second stage of the Evolution is a  Divas dueting. I’m talking about heart stopping numbers in pieces like Sideshow, Chess and Wicked.

And then lastly, in accordance with the rule of 3: shows with 3 Divas.  Big mentions here being Witches of Eastwick, Dreamgirls, and recently, 9 to 5.  Now, these are fantastic shows.  9 to 5 is my jam, BUT will we let the rule of 3 stop us there?! I know it seems impossible but there must be a way to break this barrier and bring well-constructed 4 Diva shows into existence.

I should pause here to give mention to Ira Gasman and Cy Colema’s The Life. This romp featured a half-dozen slutacular women of the night screaming proudly.  It was a wonder, but far too unstable to replicate.

SO I sat down with research partner Robert and we tasked ourselves with breaking the rule of three and reaching for just one viable show that can support the 4 Diva compound.  After about 30 laborious minutes we have done it.  Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: The Musical.

Just think of it! four chicks, different things going on, different personalities, a well balanced cast provided by Ms. Ann Brashares. Robert and I are going to start working on the score pretty soon now, but we are already accepting applications from interested Divas who want to be part of history (Sutton Foster, you can have the weird character, or the one that goes to Greece!).  I even have some of the lyrics coming along:

Our love won’t unravel,
’cause our pants travel!
we’re a good good good
Sisterhood!

well… There’s some more R&D to happen here.  But I’ll keep you posted. 🙂