Theatre Thursday :: our thoughts on Wicked

20 Aug

So I’ve seen Wicked… I think four times now?  At least three.  I think four.  Once in New York (not full original cast, but parts of it and also Megan Hilty and Shoshanna Bean) and the rest on tour.  It was a phase in high school, of course, I’ve mentioned this before; I’ve gone through periods of caring more and caring less and “well, it’s not the book” and “well, it’s a bit something-or-other” and also “holy shit this is actually quite a big deal.”

Because it is a big deal.  Arguably one of the most popular new musicals of the last fifteen years is about… well, gal pals.  Gal pals that duet frequently, have different strengths and weaknesses and give such a damn about each other and there are just not enough musicals about women (not just a woman, next to a man or men) so the fact that this one is so culturally prevalent is actually really amazing.

And I had never seen the show proper but had been into the musical since high school and read the book somewhere around senior year. I was just getting out of my fundie bubble and figuring out what ~secular~ people liked, so I didn’t know theater people generally consider Wicked to be too “mainstream.” I just knew I was really, really into it (for reasons that would become clear to me in a couple more years). But mostly what I was into was the OBC, and I didn’t feel it was necessary to go out of my way to actually see the show live. (I have similar reactions to acoustic or live recordings of songs I like, sometimes. They just sound off and I don’t like them as much.) But wow, am I glad I was able to go to this.

  • The choreography and wire work and stuff was so cool to watch. I’ve mostly only seen shows that required minimal wires and had some dancing, but not the kinds of movements on this scale, and that was fascinating. I’m the kind of person who likes BTS stuff, so I’d actually be really interested in seeing some of the set construction.  (The score to this show may be very traditional, but my opinion is now and has always been that the set design techie business is brilliant and not like to be matched for some time.)
  • Also, the Wizard head was so creepy but so cool. It reminded me of a more high-tech version of Cerberus from Jasper in Deadland.
  • Most of the reason I didn’t really want to see it live is because I’m so used to Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, to the point that I’m going to refuse to see whatever eventual movie ends up being made because it will be wrong. But I did really enjoy Alyssa Fox as Elphaba, especially her more deadpan take on some of the lines directed at Glinda. And Carrie St. Louis was having the time of her life as Glinda, bouncing around the stage and showing off and generally being perfect for her role. (My number one revelation upon this fourth viewing of the show was how absolutely dorky G[a]linda is and how wonderful that is.)  I am bad at remembering names and don’t remember anyone else’s name, but they were all very good.
  • I did not know this show was so gay, somehow. This show is very gay. No wonder it’s been my favorite since high school.
  • I was holding myself together very nicely until “For Good” and then suddenly it was raining on my face and I was mad about it.  (I did not cry because I have never cried at any show that is not Spring Awakening oops but I felt many a thing, as per usual.)

–your fangirl heroines.

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