This week I’m celebrating Wicked.
First here’s my review from 2008 of Gregory Maguire’s novel which has become one of my favorite favorites.
Brilliant, definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year- or ever. This was such an interesting take on Frank Baum’s Oz series- and the movie adaptation featuring Judy Garland- creating this rich history for new and familiar characters alike. Very smart. As unputdownable as it was, there were times when I just had to take a moment to marvel at what I just read either by the writing or the turn of events in the story. I am looking forward to reading the other books in Maguire’s series and hopefully I’ll even get to see the musical everyone seems to be raving about.
As I hadn’t watched a musical before, I didn’t know what to expect. I was definitely excited when I learned “Wicked” would be playing again in Portland. The book definitely made me a fan.
The stage was framed with the mechanics of the Time Dragon Clock and a curtain map of Oz (with a green light emanating from the Emerald City) draped over it.
One of the first things that blew me away was the stage production. Everything moved fluidly from one scene to the other so it was like watching a movie but seeing everything change right in front of me.
The acting was superb. It was mind boggling how the voices carried without the telltale signs of microphones. Then the musical numbers! They weren’t as cheesy as I thought they would be. I heard snippets of some songs before but they were so much better in real life knowing the context of the story.
What amused me was how yet again this musical was such a different version of everything else it was based on (Baum’s original series, the WB movie adaptation, Gregory Maguire’s novel even). There was more fun and obvious humor here but it worked. It was interesting what characters and plot points they chose to include here.
“Wicked” was definitely a satisfying experience and I wouldn’t mind watching it again- and again!
And, it wouldn’t be right without referring to the original source, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz– another great reading experience. Find an edition with the colored texts but regardless of which version you read, you will be taken in with the wonderment of it all.
Watching Wicked the musical again was as magical as the first time. Getting to the venue was quite an ordeal because of public transportation and I missed the first song. But, once I was seated, I forgot about everything else.
I was struck with the cleverness and the freshness and the originality of it all. I still marveled at the moving set pieces. And, I was aware how special this must have been for the newcomers in the audience- their first full-blown musical! It’s so important that they see what’s possible in life, that being different isn’t bad.
My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is the 2013 Tony Awards opening number. I watch it from time to time to cheer me up. And, it does have an important message.
What are you celebrating this week?