Last night Steven surprised me with tickets to Wicked. (Spoiler alert for the book and musical!) It is a fantastic musical! I’ve read the book, and it just doesn’t compare to the musical. I mean, Kudos to Gregory Maguire for creativity and imagination, but I never really felt affection for Elphaba while reading the book. I felt sorry for her a few times, and I thought the book was interesting, but not really pleasurable.
Well, the musical changed the book in all the right ways! It turned it into – okay, I hate to say this, but – a feel-good story. Plus, the audience was incredibly enthusiastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a participative crowd at a musical performance! The second Elphaba walked onstage the first time, the audience went absolutely wild cheering, yelling, and clapping. Elphaba was very likable and witty. The actress had an amazing voice, too! The actress playing Glinda seemed to ham it up a little too much for my taste – was Glinda really that much of a blonde bimbo? – but Steven has seen it in New York and said it was similar there. I loved how they made the Wizard her father (didn’t remember that from the book) and that she didn’t actually die in the end!!! I was surprised! I am also glad that Fiyero was not married, like he was in the book, and I think the omission of the baby was a good idea, too. Then the story could focus on the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba more. Also, in the musical Fiyero turned into the scarecrow, which may have happened in the book, but I can’t remember. (It’s been five years and two kids since I’ve read the book and I think I’ve lost memory cells with each pregnancy.) I thought it was a nice touch to have him turn into a non-aesthetically-pleasing person just like Elphaba. Anyway, the music, dancing, and costumes were great. I need to buy the soundtrack. I thought the ensemble did a great job, and I felt sorry for them having to change costumes to often! The man who played the Wizard is the guy who played the radio station manager on Frasier and also guested on Everybody Loves Raymond. It was fun to see him in this role. Oh, and I loved Madame Morrible! I swear she looked just like Helen Mirren from where I was sitting! At the end, when the cast came out for their bows and of course got a standing ovation plus a lot of shouting from the crowd, they all started dancing and as the curtain went down, Elphaba kept crouching down lower and lower and waving to the crowd. Seemed like a fun group!