The musicals of 2016 are Wicked and Newsies.
This would be my fourth time seeing Wicked. Seeing Wicked this year was quite special because 2016 marked the tenth year that the musical has been part of my life. In addition, I had the wonderful opportunity to see the musical with my school. I look up to Elphaba because I admire her courage and strength. She is a smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, different girl who believes in equality and staying true to herself and those characteristics are part of who I am.
I knew Wicked would still be spectacular the moment I entered the auditorium. I saw this glowing green light shining through the entrance and I was transported to OZ. As long as I feel transported to OZ before the show begins, I know the show will be spectacular. The dragon and the map also help transport you to OZ. The spectacle ranges from a lavish set to colorful costumes to the dancing. The spectacle of Wicked truly helps bring the land of OZ to life and it is so believable.
At this showing of Wicked, I felt the most vulnerable. I saw an excellent Elphaba and Glinda and truly saw their dislike for each other during “What is This Feeling” and was able to see their friendship they had for each other. Glinda was absolutely hilarious especially during “Popular”, but at the same time was able to see the pain she feels in the second act.
The song, “I’m Not That Girl had an emotional shift this time around. It would be the first time seeing Wicked live that I would view the song as a heartbreaking song. Between the third time I saw the show and this time, I finally learned that “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaker and due to that realization, it made me explore the scene in a new light. Just like “On My Own” from Les Mis, “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love song.
I was surprised that I got something out of “No Good Deed”. I always hated that song and never looked forward to that scene. I was able to finally appreciate the song and I even was able to pick up on the emotions and sense its wonderful energy. The song ended up being a song dealing with anger and frustration. Due to finally remembering and feeling the emotions of this song, it made me feel more vulnerable with Wicked.
But “For Good” was the moment I truly know how incredible Elphaba and Glinda were. That scene was sung and acted so well that I was reduced to tears. The core of this musical is truly about the deep friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, which is why “For Good” needs to truly move your heart and soul.
Newsies is a Disney, dance-filled musical and it was the first time I would see the show. Newsies is the real-life story of the 1899 Newsboy strike. Pulitzer raised the Newsies distribution price to 60 cents per one hundred papers. Most of these Newsies are either orphans, runaways, or homeless and they have to live off of the money they make from the papers. They even are not able to sell back their papers. That is why raising the distribution price is unfair to the Newsies. As a result, the Newsies went on strike and later would rally the other New York Newsies.
The dancing of Newsies was mind-blowing. The cast was basically all boys. They were doing tap, ballet, and different forms of dance. They were jumping high up in the air, jumping over each other, doing flips, sliding under each other, and dancing on top of newspapers. The dance alone was worth the price of the ticket. That was just how mind-blowing the dancing was.
I loved how the Newsies formed this one family. They all have this incredible bond. You first learn of the incredible bond found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. Their friendship is so close and deep and that is where my emotional connection truly was. Jack is the leader of the Newsies and Crutchie has a bum leg and has to get around with the aid of a crutch.
In addition, Jack Kelly is the protagonist and is also an incredible artist and is like father to the rest of the Newsies. He has this deep yearning to leave New York and head to Santa Fe, but he also truly loves his Newsies family.
During “Carrying the Banner”, you truly learn that all of the Newsies are like brothers to each other and that they are one big family. When the distribution prices were raised, the Newsies went on strike to stand up for their rights even though they were up against Pulitzer and Hearst. Newsies is truly about these underdogs who stand up to two of the most powerful men at the time. Even though the cast of Newsies is male-based, there is a major female character named Katherine. Katherine writes the news story about the strike and is the love interest of Jack Kelly .
The set in Newsies was basically these three big towers which could change shape and is basically like a big jungle gym. My favorite song from Newsies was “Seize the Day” and the show was so good that I hope to eventually own the soundtrack. Newsies even made my favorite musical list, which are the musicals that are meaningful to me.
Both Wicked and Newsies had dance and were both happy musicals. They both shared the emotions of joy, love, excitement, and sad. In Wicked, the negative emotions had more of a vulnerable feel while in Newsies sad felt more innocent. This year, Newsies was the more inexperienced musical, which is why sad had this innocent feeling.