My daughters and I went to see WICKED yesterday. We have been wanting to see this show for about 2 years now, and the opportunity came up for us to go with a group, for deeply discounted rates. I am glad we went.
The show was FANTASTIC! All the rave reviews have been well deserved. We were up in the balcony, about 7 rows from the absolute back of the theater, and we could still see fairly well and the sound was wonderful.
It's a girls show. Not that men wouldn't enjoy it, but the storyline involves the two main characters, Elphaba and Galinda (who later becomes Glinda). They meet in college, and the song they sing together tells us how they initially feel about each other, "What is This Feeling - Loathing". Then it unfolds how they become friends and how one goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West and the other Glinda the Good. (They never refer to Glinda as a witch.)
The story does take us all the way to the end of of the movie "The Wizard of Oz." From the ads one would think it only details up until Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch. I was pleasantly surprised when elements of the movie began to show up in this musical.
Besides the absolutely fantastic music and songs, there was quite a bit of humor in the show. The relationship between the two girls was quite funny at times. It really is a girlfriend musical. It showcases how two women relate as best friends, including the hurt as well as the joy.
My step-daughter met us at the theater and saw the show with us as well. She delighted the girls by telling them she had the Wicked Soundtrack. On the way home, we stopped by her apartment and she gave us a copy. We delighted in re-living the musical again all the way home. I loved that my girls wanted me to "blast" the music and they sang along with their favorite songs. The soundtrack was done by the original Broadway cast, and I must say, I think the leads in our Chicago cast were much better. Elphaba's voice was beyond fantastic. It was strong and clear and perfectly on. She did not make one mistake. It was just a marvelous performance and the entire house gave the two female leads a standing ovation at curtain call.
The best song in the entire show is "Defying Gravity". Some of the unforgettable lyrics:
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by
The rules of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down
I'm through accepting limits
Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost
Powerful words and a very powerful song. Good lessons in there too.
If you can get to see one Musical this year, try to go and see Wicked. My girls and I are already plotting how we can get back to see it one more time before it leaves Chicago in January. It was just that good. We know we'll catch things the second time that we may have missed the first.
It was such a wonderful thing to be able to share this with my daughters. Their delight at being in the "city" (which I will write about in another post), their awe of the theater and the show itself, and just the joy and happiness they shared about finally being able to see the show we have only talked about for the last two years. I believe this is one of the things that will stick in their memories forever. Something they will be able to look back on as adults and remember the day they got to go to Chicago and see Wicked with their mom.