Can I start with, ‘It was amazing’?
IT WAS AMAZING.
It was more than I thought it would be. This is one of the cases wherein the thing exceeded the expectations. Well, my expectations, that is.
I was introduced to the musical way back in 2005. I heard the song Defying Gravity and I immediately looked for the musical. I also got myself a copy of the recording by the Original Broadway Cast and it was has been my playlist for when times I needed to lift up my spirit. After 9 years of listening to the album, I finally had the chance to watch it on stage as the Australian Tour announced that they will come to Manila at the CCP Theater.
I actually didn’t think I would be able to watch it because when tickets were sold, people thought that I already had plans with other people so they didn’t bother asking me if I wanted to go with them. I ended up with no friends to watch the show with. Then, they decided to extend the run for the season and an office mate, who didn’t have the chance to secure the tickets the first time, offered to watch the show me – she and her family. I gladly obliged. I would do anything to watch the show just like how Boq would do anything for Ms Galinda.
I was hesitating too. After listening to the OBC recording for nine years, I cannot get the sound of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in my head. I was worried that I might be comparing them to the original the whole time and I would not enjoy the show.
IT WAS AMAZING.
Suzie Mathers as Glinda was cute and amazing. She was like on Red Bull the whole time she was on stage. I couldn’t imagine how she could do that 8 times a week. And I think she really captured the essence of what Glinda is – naive, blissful, and gives a lot of importance to beauty.
Jemma Rix as Elphaba was very different from what I think Idina Menzel is. She provided a bit of a pop twist to the songs and the emotion was definitely there. Although, I think that Idina has a stronger belt for me. The performance was still solid and she sold Elphaba as a really good person.
Steve Danielsen as Fiyero Tigelaar is love. Aside from the obvious bias, he also portrayed a good Fiyero. At the start, he is like the boys in high school who don’t know anything but to cause trouble.
Maggie Kirkpatrick as Madame Morrible was like drunk the whole time. HAH. We know that she’s a two-faced witch herself. We also feel that in the performance.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Wizard portrayed by Jay Laga’aia. I was thinking that he’ll such be a boring character despite his impact on the story. He gave the his songs (which are the most boring for me) a new twist and a performance that will make you remember him.
I cannot say enough good stuff for the production. As I’ve read somewhere, they are replicas of the one in Broadway. So, it was just like experiencing it in a theater other than the Gershwin. So, I have no qualms about the set, props, or costumes. Wicked won a Tony for both scenic design and costume design so who am I to argue that they are not good? I love Emerald City. Its lights and clothing. They are like the Capitol of a different universe.
One of the highlights for me was Defying Gravity. I was in tears during that song. You realize that Elphaba has really come out of her shell and will do the things she wants to do.
There are a lot of lessons we can learn from Wicked – friendship, evil, prejudice, and transformation. It can be enjoyed by a wide age range of audiences because the lessons are so universal.
This is money really well spent. I have no regrets spending money for this nor will I regret spending money to watch it again.