Soon after I found out Wicked was coming to Denver and tickets went on sale, I hopped on the opportunity to purchase tickets and I started listening to the music. Even though I had heard much hustle and bustle about the musical, I didn’t know much about it. All I knew was that it was based loosely on the book, Wicked, written by Gregory Maquire. From what I had heard, the book was very, very dark, perhaps gratuitously evil, but the musical wasn’t.
The music took some time to grow on me and then I couldn’t stop listening to it. The music’s catching, and the lyrics say so much in such clever ways.
I had never seen the musical before. So, my awareness of the story line was based solely on what I had heard through the music and later had read in the synopsis in the Producer’s Note. I wasn’t a fan of Glinda, because she disavowed any relation to Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch. When Elphaba was alive, things didn’t fare much better. Glinda seemed like this Miss Goody-Two-Shoes, popular and annoying character, who tried to make Glinda a weird clone of herself and made sure she made Elphaba aware that she’d never measure up.
And, Elphaba already had it pretty bad. When she was born, her parents wanted nothing to do with her, because she was different. She was, wait for it, green. Later, when the Wizard found out she magical talents, he wanted to tap that and tried to trick her into doing his evil bidding. When she wasn’t willing to, he ruined her by labeling and announcing that she was evil; and she was branded a villain.
The middle of last month, we went to see Wicked, and it’s been constantly playing in my mind ever since.
Lily Chang © 2019
Some of those perceptions I had were way off.
Glinda wasn’t as horrible as I had thought her to be. She was not ignoring or denying an unexpected and deep friendship. Her public claim of having only some acquaintance of who Elphaba was, following her death, was not some sort of betrayal or lack of sensitivity. It was something else. Something more meaningful.
The music saved some surprise for the stage performance. Had to be there to know those details. Wow! I was caught totally off guard by what I learned.
Winnie Holzman’s story-telling and Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyric writing utterly amazed me. Everything, I mean everything — from the settings to the costumes to the acting — had me spellbound and enthralled throughout the whole performance, from song to song, scene to scene. All the way to the very end.
First time attending a Wicked performance, I give an enthusiastic thumbs up. Go see it.
Can’t wait to see it again, when the show comes back here.