A Wicked Good Time

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I am so excited to share today about my experience seeing Wicked.  It was such a mesmerizing musical, and I had such a good time! My aunt and I went to see the 1st National Tour perform earlier this month, and I had no idea what to expect; I went in blind.  And I loved it!  It was exciting, funny, and inspirational.

Funny story.  Before the show started, I took a picture of the stage, which is apparently a big no-no (I wish I had been aware of this- unfortunately, I was not).  Immediately after I snapped the photo, I hear a woman yell, “Lady in red, I need to see you delete that picture RIGHT NOW!”  Can you say scary?  It took me a few seconds to figure out that she was talking to me.  Me. What did I do?  Of course, I deleted the photo right away, but that was terrifying!  I mean, I understand that the woman was an usher, just doing her job, but did she have to be so rude about the whole thing?  I wish she had just asked me nicely instead of embarrassing me.  My aunt said she was probably making an example out of me.  This is probably true, but let me tell you, I saw plenty of people taking pictures of the stage after this little scene.  But anyways, I guess it’s a good laugh now.

After that happened, we settled on taking a picture of ourselves inside the theater:

inside the theater before the show started
inside the theater before the show started

On to the show!  All I knew about the show was that it was somewhat of a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, but besides that, it was all a total surprise to me.

I loved everything about this musical!  The music, the songs, the actors, the actors’ amazing voices (!), and the set designs were all breathtaking.

About the music, I always seem to forget that there is a live orchestra playing the music in the pit.  The music is so loud and it sounds so perfect, that I think it is being blasted through speakers.  It is overwhelming to realize that the music we are hearing in the theater is being played live by talented musicians- how exciting!

The cast was amazing.  I cannot adequately express my admiration for these actors.  They blew me away with both their acting and their amazing voices.  Each of them goes on a journey by the end of the show, and they grow and evolve from who they were in the beginning.

Elphaba was played by Dee Roscioli, who I now love.  She is amazing.  Elphaba was just misunderstood by everyone.  She is a strong-willed character who is driven to do what is right.  She doesn’t let other people tell her what to do.  And when she sang “Defying Gravity” at the end of the first act, she blew me away.  That moment was incredible.  Dee Roscioli has a beautiful, amazing voice.  She hit those high notes like it was no big deal!  The power of that song and the emotion coupled with Dee’s voice just left me speechless.  That scene truly blew me away, and it was a major turning point for Elphaba in the story.

I also really enjoyed Galinda (or Glinda later on).  Her character was played by Jenn Gambatese, who, I later found out, is relatively new to the role.  I never would have known, because she played Glinda so well.  She is such a funny character and I loved watching her transform from young, immature, and shallow to a well-rounded character.  By the end, she still retained her humor, but she grew into a character who cared about more than just herself.  My favorite scene of hers was when she sang “Popular”.  This scene is really where Elphaba and Galinda become friends, and it was easily one of the funniest parts of the show for me.  This song is so funny, and Jenn had such good comedic timing.  She made me laugh so much! I love Jenn Gambatese!  And, seeing as this is a new role for her and she was already amazing, I can only see her getting better.

The last character I want to talk about is Fiyero, the love interest in the musical.  I also enjoyed his character.  He was played by Cliffton Hall, who just performed his last show a few days ago.  I am so sad that he is no longer with Wicked, because I loved him, too, and I’m sad that I won’t be able to see him perform in this role again.  Unless, maybe he will return someday.  You never know.

This musical was funny throughout, but it also had poignant themes.  One theme is about being different and how to cope with that.  You are either accepted or misunderstood, many times the latter. The question is, will you rise above it and persevere in the face of adversity, or will you flounder and become what you are rumored to be? Another huge theme is friendship.  The friendship between Elphaba and Glinda is central to the plot and guides the story.

Another thing I loved about this musical is how it brought all the little things from The Wizard of Oz into the story.  For instance, how the monkeys got their wings, or how the Tin Man came to be.  I thought it was all very clever and intriguing.  There is also an unexpected twist at the end, which really took me by surprise.

I loved this musical because it had funny moments throughout, great music, and focused on the friendship of two witches.  There was so much going on in this musical, that I don’t think I was able to take it all in.  I have to see it again!

Just a parting thought: this is a powerful story that is ultimately about the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.  Although they were two very different characters, they had a strong friendship that challenged them both to grow and change.  Their friendship was a rocky one, with lots of bumps along the way, but they learned from one another and became better people as a result of knowing each other.  As this story was about friendship, the song in Act 2, “For Good”, perfectly sums up the impact they had in each others’ lives.

I can’t wait to get the chance to see Wicked again!

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