October 30th, 2018- Wicked celebrated 15 years on Broadway.
Little did I know in 2006 at age of 12 when I stepped foot in the Gershwin Theater I would be changed for good. I don’t have vivid memories of that night. All I remember was that I saw Wicked with my mom, and that “Popular” was my favorite song. Despite the fact that I don’t remember much, the impact clearly shows. Wicked sparked my love for musicals- that was a big reason why it changed me for good. The picture below is from when I saw Wicked the 1st time.
The two storylines I focus on the most are the friendship and the love triangle. I don’t remember when I picked up on the love triangle- it was either the 1st or 2nd time I saw the show. At least I knew it was connected. In addition, Wicked was when I began to understand what it means to have an emotional connection- of all Wicked characters, the only characters I formed an emotional connection to are Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. The character I formed the most emotional connection to belonged to Elphaba, a character I strongly relate to. Like Elphaba, I am smart, determined, unique, big-hearted, and believe in equality and staying true to myself: that is why she is my all-time favorite musical character. With Wicked- the negative emotions came to the forefront: that is when I began to understand sad in the first place.
Before Wicked, I didn’t understand complex stories or complex characters. I started to understand that concept because of Wicked. I think it most likely was the 2nd time when I realized Elphaba and Glinda were complex character. Before I didn’t realize, musicals were home to subplots so Wicked was the beginning of understanding subplots. For instance, the main plot is focused on the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda, but one of Wicked’s subplots is the love triangle between the girls and Fiyero. Those two storylines are the ones I pay the most attention to. Only “For Good” and “I’m Not That Girl” are the only songs that stuck with me growing up that were home to sad- that’s it. So Wicked was crucial to the start of complex plots and the beginning of understanding the importance of sad and what it meant for a song to be sad in the first place.
What is my vision in musicals? A happy and comic musical with spectacle and dance with complexity and romance with positive and negative emotions in the score and a strong emotional connection. That was my vision before my first year of college. I had interpreted Wicked as a comedy- still do- part of that comes from I still kind of approach it from the point of view of a 12 year old. The picture below comes from the 3rd time- my date with my dad. Funny story: before the show began, the tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me, and my dad switched seats with me giving me the better view.
(Off Wicked for a bit)
Les Mis entered my life in 2013. With Wicked, I discovered sad- I thought the negative emotions could not do anything else. Les Mis proved everything wrong- I thought ALL musicals were HAPPY- Les Mis showed me that TRAGIC musicals exist and that HEARTBREAK is an emotion. To be honest, I do not think Les Mis would have entered my life or had the impact it had on my life if Wicked never entered my life.
Okay, just like Wicked, Les Mis is home to a love triangle. The song, “On My Own”, would help one of Wicked’s songs. It took from 2013-2014 for “On My Own” to go from just a sad to a heartbreaking song. “On My Own” is an unrequited love song. Soon enough, in the 2014-2015 year span, I realized that “I’m Not That Girl” is also an unrequited love song. By realizing that, I was able to figure out “I’m Not That Girl” is not just a sad song like I once believed- it also helped that I choose to memorize the lyrics. Memorizing the lyrics made me find the parallel lyrics between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”.
The picture below comes from the 4th time. I went with Gardner Webb. Gardner Webb is one hr away from Charlotte. Student Activities took 50 of us- I was one of the first to sign up. I was the most vulnerable the 4th time. This is the Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero I can describe the best. For starters, the emotions were the deepest because I came in knowing “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking. 2nd) It was the first time “No Good Deed” had emotions in it. 3rd) Elphaba and Glinda were excellent: the best casts tend to have an excellent Elphaba and Glinda- it always make it better. 4) I was watching Wicked with a school that changed me for good. 5) I was determined to want to know why the plot twist in the love triangle happened- I didn’t want to leave with that “why” question.
Funny story: after the show ended, we went to the bus, and the bus turned out to be broken down.
With Wicked, the 2nd time was better than the 1st, the 3rd time was better than the 2nd and the 4th time was better the 3rd- it just keeps on better each and every time. I always discover something new. I get so lost in the friendship and love triangle that I keep on overlooking everything else.
So Wicked is my #1 favorite musical (but, what about Les Mis). Well, Les Mis is tied with Wicked. What makes Les Mis, the musical I am obsessed with, hard to push past Wicked: 1) I relate to Elphaba (I don’t exactly relate to any of the Les Mis characters) and 2) Wicked is home to spectacle and dance. So Wicked has some bonuses in it that Les Mis doesn’t.
Favorite songs in Wicked: “Popular”, “What is This Feeling”, “Dancing Through Life”, “I’m Not That Girl”, “One Short Day”, “Defying Gravity”, “As Long As Your’e Mine”, “For Good”. So “I have been changed for good”.
Are you a fan of Wicked? If so, why? What are your favorite storylines?