Friday, September 05, 2008

A Wicked Fun Experience

(This blog title makes me think of our two nieces from Boston who like to use this word to describe the utmost, which is what our experience seeing the WICKED theatre performance turned out to be!)
Several years ago, a work colleague recommended I read the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. Especially since I had loved fairy tales/fantasy as a young reader myself, I thought this would be an interesting retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I plunged right into the book and devoured each tasty paragraph word by word! Poor, misunderstood Elphaba! (How cool is it that the El- is for L. in L. Frank, the -pha- for the phonetic sound in Frank, and -ba for the first two letters in Baum??) And that air-headed, popular Glinda? She was shallow as they come. How about a school where the teachers are animals...that's baaa-aaad! Really baaa-aad!
So, when I heard this story was made into a musical and on Broadway in NYC, I wanted to see it.
Baa-aad! Then coming to Chicago? I was envious of my friends and relatives who made it to the production long before we did. But, finally it was time to go this past weekend. Anne and Jed offered to buy us tickets, and we happily accepted their generosity. We purchased tickets right at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago this past weekend for a surprisingly reasonable last-minute price and settled into our seats in the balcony to enjoy the show. What a show it was!
The music numbers were beyond wonderful and I find myself humming, thanks to Anne's gift of the Wicked CD:
"No One Mourns the Wicked"
"Something Bad"
"Dancing Through Life"
"Popular" (#1 favorite)
"Defying Gravity" (#2 favorite)
Thanks, co-workers for putting up with this the past week as I'm singing out loud now!
Even Wes, who was not off-the-charts-excited when we entered the theatre, left as a revitalized man. We had a good discussion on the 'el' back home (D/L condo) about the parts we liked and
the music and the staging wonders...and the characters. This event will not soon be forgotten!If you can get a chance to go, GO!!!
And did you know Gregory Maguire has written many more books?
My personal favorite is still Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel.
You can know that if this
comes to the theatre as a
musical, we WILL be there!


Melissa said...

Oh, so fun. I love musicals. LOVE THEM! Sometimes I wish I lived in one...sometimes my husband probably feels like HE does! :)

The Witty Librarian said...

Oh, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is my favorite by Maguire! Such a wonderful novel!!!

And Wicked is just a wicked musical!

The Lindahl News said...

Thanks for introducing me to Gregory WAS you, wasn't it? (I wish I had a crisp memory.)

Greenfields said...

How can anyone resist your enthusiasm for the musical? I'm gonna read the book!