I saw Wicked this weekend. It.Was.Amazing.
Leading up to Saturday I listened to the soundtrack approximately 5,962 times so I was pretty familiar with most of the musical, knowing there were some things that I didn't know about clearly. I also already knew that my hear was deeply entangled with Elphaba (the "Wicked" Witch of the West). I've read the book several times and just love her character so much.
But watching the first half of the musical I was overcome with anxiety, anger and love for her character. I mean to the point that it was almost a little ridiculous. I knew what was coming. I knew that lies would be told, that she would be ridiculed, ostracized, vilified and abandoned. I hated that it had to happen.
When Elphaba showed up at the Oz Dust ballroom and didn't know how to act, but tried to fit in anyway, when she discovered that the Wizard was a fraud and a liar, when everything she tried to do backfired and was taken as wickedness instead of her trying to be helpful...I was holding my breath. I wanted to rush up on stage and tell her it was ok, that I loved her that the other people were idiots and didn't see how she was good and wonderful instead of Glinda and the Wizard.
Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself it was just a story. But still I battled with those emotions the entire performance.
Because I know what it feels like and even though it was just a story I wanted to protect her from feeling that way. I saw what was coming and I wanted to avoid the pain.
Right now I feel like I see something coming, and I want to avoid the awkward and the pain that might come with it...I just don't think I'm going to be able to. But that's another post altogether.
The thing is, throughout the story there was hope. Elphaba kept hoping and hoping; with all the hits and rejection she would still hope secretly that it would all work out. Except once...but she recovered her hope. Although it seemed her hope was tinted with sadness after that.
There's a part where Elphaba is accusing the Wizard of lying, and he says, "Back home we believe all sorts of things that aren't true...it's called history." Sometimes history is just the winners version of things. The way the Wizard of Oz is the way that the story was told, but there was this whole other drama pouring forth behind the scenes that shows Elphaba wasn't all that Wicked and Glinda wasn't all that good. The wizard goes on to say, "There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities. So we act as though they don't exist"
I've found myself more in love with Wicked (the book and the musical...which are very very different) then I ever was with the Wizard of Oz. I prefer the book to the musical still, because in some ways, the musical has a happier ending than the book and I can't resolve happy pink bow endings with what I experience in my life and see in the lives of others.
Bottom line: Wicked was amazing. If it plays near you you MUST see it. If it's not playing near you get the soundtrack. I had a torrid love affair with the soundtrack for 5 years before I got to see the live performance.
I loved Wicked!