“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you I have been changed for good” – For Good lyrics – Glinda and Elphaba
I have a confession to make, I reached this matured age never knowing the story of The Wizard Oz. I’m just familiar with the characters and the yellow brick road but never really understood how the full story goes. I heard of this Wicked musical while vacation in LA and watching Glee…sing, sing, sing… but it never really moved me to purchase a ticket and sit my ass off to watch it, I opted for the NBA game in Staples Centre instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I love musical ever since Ms Saigon, I tried to watch as much as I can and I liked them all. When Wicked arrived in Singapore I have to comply to experience firsthand what the fuss was about.
We arrived late and missed the opening scene (The curse of the Ms Saigon strikes again!) but I am not my usual frantic self and regretting my tardiness because I have missed a great deal. I am just ‘unaffected’ as I can be. After having dozed off from watching The Lion King musical https://ellehctur.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/lion-king-the-musical/ at matinee, I reckoned my eyes will betray me and steal some nap time from this one again.
I came late but not unprepared, I have done my homework. When I heard the this musical was based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), a parallel novel of the film The Wizard of Oz, I watched the 1939 film finally but sad to say I didn’t liked it a bit, I’m not expecting a hi tech cinematography from a 72 year old movie but knowing the storyline was shallow – the witch was killed accidentally by a pale of water and the great wizard of Oz was just a man that will ride a big balloon to go back to Texas was a boooo! Thus, I am not expecting much. But lo and behold I found myself wide awake and laughing to all the unexpected witty dialogues. I was hooked with Elphaba, the misunderstood girl with emerald-green skin, and Galinda, later Glinda, the beautiful, ambitious and popular blonde. Suddenly, ‘defying gravity’ sounds better than watching Glee. This ‘chick flick’ musical was really enjoyable and we were all blown away by the fantastic musical, sheer power vocal cords and openness of the actors.
Kudos to the revisionist author Gregory Maguire for retelling a story with substantial alterations in character or environment, to “revise” the view shown in the original work. I actually appreciate Wizard of Oz because of this stage prequel, which tells the back-story of the good witch Glinda, and of her malevolent green-faced rival, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.
I will watch this again and this time I won’t be late!