Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Must be a Gulch

Saturday night, we saw one of our favorite musicals, Wicked. The show is based on the book by Gregory Maguire that tells the stories of the witches from The Wizard of Oz before the events of the movie unfold.

The story opens and closes with Glinda telling the citizens of the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, known here as Elphaba (a play on the initials of the original Oz author, L. Frank Baum). The main action of the musical unfolds as a flashback.

Elphaba and Glinda attend school together. Glinda is the popular girl with the sterotypical cheerleader personality. Elphaba is there to care of her wheelchair-bound sister, Nessarose. But, it is quickly discovered that Elphaba has a knack for magic, so she is recruited in a special seminar to enhance her skills. Though this class is just a setup by the teacher to teach Elphaba magic so that she can help the Wizard of Oz in his quest to further control the citizens of Oz.

Glinda and Elphaba begin as rivals, but soon become close friends. Their paths diverge, however, as Elphaba constantly struggles to do what's right while Glinda is interested in being in the spotlight.

The action of the story reveals how the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow all come in to being. You learn where the witches of the North, West, and East all got their names. You also learn that the Wicked Witch really isn't Wicked, she is just misunderstood. By the end of the show, you have much compassion for her character.

The musical does not stay very true to the book. Most of the characters are largely drawn from the book as are some major plot themes. I was really surprised going through the book how different it was. It had a much darker tone and many major plot and character differences. But it is neat to see how Maguire took an existing world and added further depth to it.

Given that this is a Disney-related blog, I must point out that in the touring company, Nessarose (pictured here) is played by DeeDee Magno Hall, a former member of The All New Mickey Mouse Club.

I highly recommend this show. It is Kristin's favorite and definitely near the top of my list.

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Since my last post, Kristin has made two trips to the gym, and I have made one. She put in 3.25 miles, and I have run 3.1. I was going to back tonight, but we have some pretty bad freezing rain, so I didn't want to risk the drive. Tuesdays have been very bad weather lately. The good news is that our offices were closed about an hour early because of it.

1 comment:

caballerofan said...

This is one of those things that looks interesting to me. However, I began reading the book and stopped because I was put off by the amount of adultery in it and the way it mocked religion.

Does the stage production stay clear of that? The concept of learning more about such characters is still an interesting idea. Even in the short bit I read the author was building, as you say, compassion for the character. Perhaps I may finish the book one day but I might opt for the preformance whenever it comes to the Tundra.

Keep those miles coming.