Last night, as I was in awe of Elphaba's soaring into the air, Glinda's hair tosses and the amazing dragon-clock machine, I kept remembering my first trip to the theater.
It all started in 3rd grade when I saw a Reading Rainbow special on CATS. I was completely fascinated by the costumes and make-up and I loved kittens! I always loved it when the advanced piano students would play "Memories" at piano recitals. Then in 6th or 7th grade CATS came to Owensboro and I begged my parents to take me. My parents weren't really in to musicals, particularly ones with dancing cats, so they had my uncle take me. I still remember what I wore (Plaid skirt with oxford shirt and lime green sweater, knee-high socks and clogs. I thought I was very Cher from Clueless.) and how I felt, sitting in the balcony as the lights started to flash throughout the theatre. I was completely enthralled and sang Mr. Mistofolles all week.
Not only is Wicked an amazing and beautiful sight and sound, I really enjoyed the story. It varies greatly from the book, but in ways that are understandable as a long, dark political fantasy is translated into a Broadway sensation. I even like the musical version better since it ends much happier. Since I've never liked The Wizard of Oz I love the idea that Wicked Witch is more of an anti-government rebel trying to save the lowly in society than an evil, malicious witch. Wicked also deals with a lot of important issues: the consequences of blindly following government leaders, the complexities of moral ambiguities, the importance of treating others with respect, the motives behind "being good" and so on.
I've heard rumors of a movie. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.