A blog raveled in randomness
Wow. I didn’t know this musical would be this amazing, this funny and this amazing! I had not heard the storyline or listened to the songs of the famous musical beforehand, so I went in not knowing what would happen on stage. And it surprised me. In a really really really great way.
I went to the Apollo Victoria Theatre and was able to get the seat at the stalls. Except for the dragon(?)–what was it? I could not see–above the stage, I was able to see the stage without a problem. First of all, I love the plot: a story of the Wicked Witch starting from her childhood and her time as a student with Glinda the Good Witch. I was happy to see how characters like the coward lion, the scarecrow and the heartless tin-man from the original ‘The Wizard of Oz’ came to be. Also the vague reappearance of Dorothy, Toto the dog and the red slippers gave me pleasure of familiarity. Though, I will say, I was not happy with the ending. I felt the ‘happy’ ending of Elphaba the Wicked Witch was forced upon the storyline, but other than that, I thought the performance was flawless.
The costumes were unique in its own ‘Emerald City’-way, and the props used to decorate the stage were smoothly transitioned live. Speaking of live, I thought music accompaniment was prerecorded until I saw a conductor’s waving hands from the pit. The singers were amazing–especially the one who played Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Her solos were indescribably fantastic, and her voice pulled me to empathize her through the lyrics. The song titles that I can remember right now are: ‘The Wizard and I’ (amazing!), ‘For Good’ (double-amazing!) and ‘Defying Gravity’ (triple-amazing with lifting platform, wind blowing through Elphaba’s cape and hair, and Munchkins scurrying out from the darkness and cowering in fear of the flying Wicked Witch!). The lighting was also used in such unique ways of storytelling. Especially when they drew a white curtain behind them to show only their shadows. I love shadow plays and it was unexpected to see that in this musical.
I cannot pick a favorite song or a favorite part of the musical because everything (except for the ‘happy’ ending) was flawless in my opinion. The costumes were intricately designed, the colors of lighting enhanced the emotions presented on stage, the performers were in their characters and singing beautifully without fault, and the familiar story transformed into another memorable story was magic for me. This is why I love musicals, movies or any other art form that has a story to tell. Whether you hate how it begins or love how it ends, that is the not the point. What you get out of are irreplaceable feelings that you cannot gain anywhere else. The theatre is and will always be a magical place for me. I loved Wicked!
Wicked musical UK website: http://wickedthemusical.co.uk/