Next month we get to go see Wicked again. This will be our fourth time and we're stoked.
The first two times we saw it were on Broadway. We hadn't heard the music, just rave reviews from everyone we talked to. We bought tickets before we went to New York, and then won their lottery for tickets in the second row. Wow. I finally understood why people make such a big deal about seeing shows on Broadway. It really is incredible.
For those of you who may not know, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz. You see, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West, pronounced "el-fuh-buh") and Glinda were roommates in college. After a rough start they become friends until they come to a crossroads where each must choose their path. Glinda, traditionally known as the "good witch", is obsessed with being popular and will do anything to get her way. Elphaba, who has been an outcast all her life due to her green skin, is selfless and always tries to do the right thing. Unfortunately, it often backfires or is misunderstood resulting in her title of the Wicked Witch. Finally, she gets fed up and essentially says "Screw it. I've tried so hard to be good and it's never worked, I'm not going to bother anymore."
The music is fantastic, especially the closing song of the first act, "Defying Gravity". You can hear it on the soundtrack, but until you know the whole story and see it in person, you just won't realize how cool a song it is. It gives me chills when I hear it. And when we heard "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" performed in Denver we learned to love the second act.
Wicked starts long before Dorothy ever shows up, proceeds through the traditional story and concludes after she and the wizard leave Oz. It explains where the flying monkeys come from, the origins of the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, the real reason Dorothy ended up in Oz and why the Wicked Witch is obsessed with the ruby slippers.
You also find out why Elphaba is green, how she ended up with the pointy black hat we have all come to associate with witches (hint: it was originally a gift to Glinda from her grandmother) and why she flies around on a broom (hint #2: it was the only object available at the time). Ever wondered why the munchkins hated the Wicked Witch of the East so much? Or the real reason the Wizard hides behind the smoke and mirrors? It's all explained in a wonderfully creative way.
Fun and uplifting, the message is a good one and can be appreciated on a number of levels. Best of all it's entertaining and G-rated. A refreshing change considering most of the "entertainment" that's out there nowadays.
If you ever get a chance to see it, it's well worth the money. I'm sure if it ever comes to Salt Lake we'll be camping out to get tickets.