Gift # 52: Wicked – the Musical

 

This past weekend my mom and I went into Dayton to  watch Wicked – the Musical.  We have been fortunate to see the show many times and each time it’s as magical and amazing as the first time.  Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the musical follows the story of Elphaba and Glinda, the “witches” of Oz.  It was an instant sensation and plays to sell-out crowds all over the world nearly every night.   

Wicked is my favorite book and favorite musical.  There are so many things I love about the show.  The sets and costumes are amazing.  I love being able to sit up close and drink in the myriad details on all the costumes.  This time around I noticed little cogs and clock pieces attached to all the hats in the opening number.  The shoes alone are worth their own blog post, let alone the hats, jewelry, dresses, capes, etc that make the show so special and otherworldly.  Then there’s the music – Stephen Schwartz is incredibly gifted in writing lyrics.   I love the way he uses paradox, twists words around, and plays with their different meanings.  Another thing I love about the show is the sets.  They are simple and brilliant and work as a great backdrop to the story.   

While all these aspects of the show are done impeccably well and add to the appeal of the show, I think what makes it perennially popular is the story.  The storyline has application and food for thought on many fronts – philosophical, societal, political, relational.  It goes as deep as you’re willing to dig.  What gives it heart, though, is the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda.  A friendship forged out of loathing, and stressed by conscience and circumstances, becomes stronger than the bonds of life and death.  Elphaba chooses to fight against an evil regime of tyranny and is labeled “wicked”.  Glinda chooses to remain in favor with “the way things are” and keep the people happy, and she is labeled “good”.  What I especially love about this retelling of Oz is the legacy that Elphaba leaves with Glinda.  Though Elphaba’s time in Oz is short and in her lifetime she doesn’t see the success of her efforts, she changes Glinda’s attitude about life and gives her passion and purpose to use her position to truly do good.  And I love that the “wicked witch of the west” is a force for good after all. 

Blessing to you,

Sarah

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