Today, I ended up watching the musical, “Wicked” a fourth time. I am a massive fan of the musical and first feel in love with it ten years ago. This time around, I went with a group of Gardner Webb students. I was so excited that I was able to go a fourth time.
I knew this show would be spectacular the moment I was about to find my seat. We are climbing up the steps to the balcony and when I started seeing green in the opening, I felt transported to OZ. If the show transports me to OZ before the show begins, than I knew that the show will be spectacular. My seat was almost at the very back row, but still a good view. What I loved about this is appreciating the grand size of the set even more. I saw all of the famous dragon set piece and I couldn’t wait until it started moving. At todays performance we had an understudy as Elphaba, Mary Kate Morrissey and had Ashley Parker Angel as Fiyero.
The moment the show began, I knew the show would have the heart that it always has had. The dragon is what starts the show and seeing all the monkeys on the stage made you know you were in OZ. This was an incredible cast particularly by those who played Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero.
Mary Kate Morrissey was an wonderful Elphaba. I could see how much she wants to be included and accepted. I saw all the hate Glinda and Elphaba had for each other. During “I’m Not That Girl”, I almost cried, and I planned ahead of time to play extra close attention to what I was feeling during that song. That was because I knew the song was heartbreaking this time around. She pulled out everything special of this character. I was able to find her strength especially during scenes such as “Defying Gravity” and “No Good Deed”. I loved her transition from younger Elphaba to older Elphaba because in act 2, Elphaba had a more mature voice. Elphaba still is my favorite musical theatre character. This time around, I saw something else in Elphaba that is also a part of me. I learned how talkative she is and is me all right. She is also very smart, determined, “different”, big-hearted and believes in equality and staying true to herself
Amanda Jane Cooper played a very funny Glinda. Loved her right when she started singing in the opening. I always look forward to the comedy of Glinda. I laughed during a lot of her scenes. “Popular” was extra special to me because it was my favorite song from the musical when I was twelve. I also could feel some hurt from Glinda in act two and I always thought of her as a funny character. I never thought about some of her pain, but there is some. Her heart gets broken when Fiyero breaks up with her and hearing everything the citizens are saying about her best friend.
The big highlight between Elphaba and Glinda was “For Good”. It was so good that I cried and that scene is bittersweet. “For Good” is the only musical duet I can relate to and it is a bittersweet moment.. Even though they are saying what they mean to each other, it still is a goodbye song. Their friendship will always remain even though they will never see each other again. I feel like this was the first time I cried during this song.
I also really loved Ashley Parker Angel as Fiyero. He serves as part of a love triangle because Elphaba and Glinda both love him. In the second act, the character is quite different. In fact act, I could see how he doesn’t care much about life. His slogan is “Dancing Through Life”. He does not take life seriously. But during the second act, there is a change in him. The moment I love watching Fiyero the most is during the love duet, “As Long as Your Mine”. This is an essential moment because I love the Elphaba and Fiyero relationship. Fiyero has always loved Elphaba even at first, Elphaba did not realize it. He decided to play the Lion Cub scene in a way that showed he had a crush on Elphaba, but deep down didn’t know realize he it. He already in act I decided to have stronger chemistry with Elphaba then Glinda. He fell in love with her around the same time Elphaba sang the unrequited love song, “I’m Not That Girl”. This time around, I wanted to understand why the plot twist happened instead of being confused once again.
Even though they were the standouts, I still loved the rest of the cast. I do not like the Wizard or Madame Morrible as characters. In fact, I prefer the character of Morrible because of her arc. The Wizard does not seem to change that much, he is just a character being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The way Wendy Worthington played Morrible made me see her arc. Than there was the complicated Boq and Nessa relationship. Megan Massako Haley played Nessa amazing. I liked her portrayal the most during “The Wicked Witch of the East”, a song that is not in the CD, but in the show. I saw how tortured the character is and how hurt she was of Elphaba’s betrayal of her. Sam Seferian played Boq, who is a character in love with Glinda. He always tried to show his affections for her, but she never noticed.
As always, the different spectacle, dance, and sound effects were OZian. My favorite dance scene in this musical is “Dancing Through Life”. It is the moment when Elphaba and Glinda first become friends. It is also when the audience first meets Fiyero. At first Elphaba cannot stand him, but she soon learned that she fell in love with him. The way the different spells happened were magical. Whenever the dragon operated, it gave a feeling of suspense and showed that something dramatic was about to happen. One of my favorite spectacle moments is during “Defying Gravity”. I love seeing Elphaba fly and I loved being in the balcony where you could actually could be looking straight at her when she is in the air. However, I saw her but the dragon’s claw soon blocked everything when she was the most high up. I especially loved the use of the fog during “As Long As Your’e Mine” because it makes the love song an amazing scene. There is something mystical and breathtaking about the scene when Fiyero and Elphaba are kneeling in the fog. The costumes during Emerald City were brilliant. My favorite costume in the show is Elphaba’s second act costume.
At the end of the show, I was speechless. The show ended up being more powerful and emotional than ever. The show does have a bit of an emotional ride in it. For the first time, I loved “No Good Deed”. I finally understood the emotion behind it and the song was filled with so much energy and power. During “Defying Gravity”, I loved being in the balcony because it that scene when she is up in the air flying. Because you are able to see her flying from your view makes that scene even more remarkable. For now, “Wicked” is my favorite musical. It still has the heart that is always has had. It is the most magical musical in existence. I am so glad I cried during “For Good” because it shows where the core of the story lies. This musical has been part of my life of ten years and still has the same impact. For now, “Wicked” is my favorite musical and was the show which would spark my love for musical and was the moment when I finally started understanding the emotional impact of the musical.