For my birthday and Christmas, Fred bought us tickets to see the musical Wicked. It’s a twist on Wizard of Oz, from the viewpoint of Elphaba (aka the Wicked Witch of the West). Basically, the first half of the play tells why she is green and how she came to be known as the Wicked Witch and the second act brings about her demise (and the making of the Tin Man and the Scarecrow as well as the ruby slippers).
[While I don’t want to spoil anything for those who want to see/read it (yes, it was a book first), I do want to share my thoughts about it. I will do my best not to spoil anything but my apologies if I do.]
The set and costumes were beautiful. I can best describe it with the word “steampunk”. The set was made up of clock gears and hands. A metal dragon resided over the stage and was brought to life by the flying monkeys at the start of the play. Glinda floated in on a “bubble” in the opening song, wearing a sparkling ball gown and waving a wand. I was awestruck as soon as the first chord was struck and the metal dragon opened his mouth.
This was the first time I’d heard the music and, while some of it was hard to understand, I still enjoyed it. Among my favorite songs are “Popular” (sung by Galinda) and “Defying Gravity” (sung by Elphaba and Galinda). But what I loved most about the play was the underlining themes: be yourself, stand by your beliefs, and fight for those who can’t. Elphaba was cast as wicked when all she did was stand up to those who oppressed animals. Personally, I love stories like this, people rising above their oppressors or fighting a small group that holds all the power. So, when Elphaba belted out the last chorus of “Defying Gravity,” chills ran down my arms:
And if you care to find me, look to the western sky.
As someone told me lately,
Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
And if I’m flying solo,
At least I’m flying free.
To those who’d ground me,
Take a message back from me.
Tell them how I am defying gravity.
I’m flying high defying gravity
And soon I’ll match them in renown.
And nobody in all of Oz,
No wizard that there is or was,
Is ever gonna bring me down!