Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wicked At Five

Wicked At Five

In case you haven't already noticed, either by virtue of the Empire State Building glowing in green or my posts from the past couple of days, the Broadway musical Wicked is celebrating its fifth anniversary of its Great White Way opening this evening.

Just a month or two into our relationship, The Love of My Life and I first saw Wicked together on the afternoon of November 1, 2003. Some couples have their song. We have our musical.

It springs not just from sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the actual performances Wicked offers, but it's also derived from our innate love for the original "Wizard Of Oz" film. After all, we were practically weaned on it as our families gathered around the television sets each year for what amounted to "event" TV way back when.

But cementing our affection for the tuner is Wicked's inspired twisting inside out of that original tale we thought we already knew backwards and forwards. Together, for the first time, we felt a little wicked in sharing an experience we both heartily enjoyed.

Since we first saw and loved the production from our fifth row center seats a mere two days after it initially opened, we've seen the show enough times that I've honestly lost count. Not only have we been back to the Gershwin Theatre at least another four times to see the likes of Elphaba and Glinda, but I've also been back there for the Behind the Emerald Curtain Tour and Monday's night's The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken benefit performance.

Oh yes, and then there were the performances in Chicago. Not only did we take in the original touring production when it first landed at the Windy City's Oriental Theatre, but we returned to the subsequent sitdown production there over and over and over and over again while living there (and even after we moved away). We even had several opportunities there to see our future friend and Tony winner Rondi Reed perform as Madame Morrible.

Post Chicago, we also took in the touring cast in Minneapolis before venturing overseas to each of the international productions in London (April 2007), Stuttgart (November 2007), Tokyo (December 2007) and Melbourne (July 2008), and you can bet that we're looking forward to seeing more of the world after this show opens elsewhere. Anyone want to meet us in Amsterdam next?

Just as The Love of My Life and I celebrate our five years together, the two of us are celebrating Gregory Maguire for providing the decidedly different, more adult take on Elphaba and Glinda in the first place through his original novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." We celebrate Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman for transforming that story into a family musical via their original score and book. We celebrate producers Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone for having the vision necessary to bring the show to reality. Last, but certainly not least, we celebrate the countless Elphabas, Glindas, Fiyeros, Madame Morribles, Boqs, Nessaroses, Wizards and Doctor Dillamonds who have brought this story to life around the world.

We salute and celebrate all of you. Here's to another Wicked five years!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 30 October, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Awww, how sweet. Thank-you, Steve, for being so enthusiastic about Wicked in the early days of our friendship. I wouldn't have seen it without your urging, and it remains one of my most enjoyable experiences at the theatre. I think you're right, it has a lot to do with our childhood memories of The Wizard of Oz. Little did I know then what a special place this musical held in your heart - and why.


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