Thursday, May 04, 2006
Maria and I saw Wicked last night at the Opera House. Wicked is a musical based on the Gregory Maguire novel, which tells the story of what happened in Oz before the Dorothy arrived. Galinda, a ditzy and popular blonde, and Elphaba, an intelligent misfit with green skin, are college roommates who form an unlikely friendship. Over time, Elphaba becomes an activist against the Wizard's corrupt government and is therefore villified as the Wicked Witch of the West, whereas Galinda becomes Glinda the Good Witch, belevolent ambassador. Although the production is based on the novel, several changes were made in the plot and characters in order to better suit the story to the stage. Nessarose, Elphaba's sister, still plays a major role, but she is in a wheelchair instead of missing arms. Fiyero, the love interest, is a charming rich boy and not a mysterious tribal prince, but this change works well for the musical. One of the fun things about both the novel and the musical are the subtle but frequent allusions to the movie the Wizard of Oz. It's an interesting concept- taking a story so familiar to the audience and presenting it in an entirely different light. I can see why the musical has done so well: the characters were endearing, the music catchy, the lyrics witty, and the ending happy.