'Wicked' leaves audiences wanting more
Friday night, I escaped the scorching heat for a few hours as I joined a theatre full of people packed into the Wharton Center and was transported to the land of Oz.
“Wicked” tells a twisting and turning story about what happened in Oz before Dorothy and Toto dropped in. The concept easily could have been lost in the clichéd “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” plot, but instead the play combines an unlikely friendship, an unusual love triangle and a wizard who is far from wonderful.
I saw this play a few years ago in Los Angeles, and I was blown away by it the first time — everything from the set to the costumes to the music was impeccable. But it’s because of this very reason that my standards were a bit lower when going to see “Wicked” for the second time. Similarly to many people, I find most books, movies, plays and shows to be markedly better the first time around.
I can happily say I was proven wrong.
Although I knew the storyline of the play, I was captivated by the actors and music as much as the rest of the audience was.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it begins with two girls becoming enemies immediately because of their stark differences. Elphaba, commonly known as the Wicked Witch of the West, arrives at school and immediately is quarantined by the rest of her classmates because of her unusual green skin and standoffish attitude.
The ringleader of the bullies is her popular, sorority-type roommate Glinda, who eventually is known as Glinda the Good Witch.
The two couldn’t be more different, but they end up forging a deep bond despite their initial impressions of each other.
The play goes on to explain how the Wizard of Oz is actually powerless and attempts to take advantage of Elphaba’s unusual magical powers to inflict harm on his city, while the whole time painting her out to be a villain.
The plot might sound confusing, but not for a second did I feel lost as to what was happening.
“Wicked” was complex and smart enough to hold the attention of the adults in the room, while still being enjoyable for the abundant young crowd and not losing their interest.
All in all, I don’t have a single complaint about the show. The songs made me tap my feet, the stage was beautifully designed and the plot tapped into every major emotion: laughter, love and sadness.
If anyone has even the slightest interest in theatrics, I would recommend them to see “Wicked.”
As is so happens, the character we all grew up knowing as the Wicked Witch of the West is not wicked at all. The play reminded members the audience of a lesson we all sometimes forget: Don’t always judge a book by its cover; beauty is only skin deep — even if it’s green.