Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Wickedness of Oz

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When I was a kid, I remembered watching “The Wizard of Oz.” I loved this move. There was something about it that always seemed to take me away to another place…not a place you get to by boat or train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…

Maybe it was also from the fact that The Wizard of Oz only came on once—maybe twice a year that made it so captivating. We’d make popcorn, grab blankets, and settle down on the living room floor to enjoy this tale of a young girl whisked away from all that she knew and loved, to literally go on a whirlwind adventure. In fact, even after we’d recorded it on videocassette, we’d still find ourselves watching it on TV, commercials and all…

What can I say? There was just something about this movie that was captivating.

Now, fast-forward a slew of years to the present time.

This past summer I took a trip to New York for a week to visit my brother and his wife. During that time I had many opportunities to see the sights, and have some great experiences. One of the things I was able to do was to see ‘Wicked’ at the Gershwin Theatre.

Entering this building was magical. I found myself spellbound as I took a seat next to complete strangers whom—after a few minutes—didn’t seem so strange, after all were all there to share a common experience.



At a signal from the conductor, the orchestra struck the first chords of the overture, which hushed the talking of the crowd. The lights dimmed, signifying that the production was about to begin. As the music rose and climaxed, the lights ignited the stage, and I found myself slipping away into a not-so-familiar memory.

The story that was being laid out was not exactly the one that I’d remembered.

I found myself drawn into the exchange between the wicked witch of the west, Elphaba, and Glenda, the good witch of the north. The play began to unfold, telling the story of their unlikely friendship, and their differing points of views on the society known as Oz.


As the play continued, I found that my own perspective was beginning to change. In many ways, it was like that moment when somebody told you additional news that altered your original thought processes toward a particular situation. You found yourself discovering things you were never privy to, simply because you weren’t allowed to know those subtle bits of information which then change everything…suddenly, you found that you understood; you realized why a person did what they did.



It wasn’t long before the witch, who’d previously been one of my least-favorite characters, was rapidly becoming my favorite…and it was all from being allowed to see things from another vantage point; from a precipice from which I’d never before been allowed.

When the production was over, I sat alone in the theatre for a few minutes, sorting out the two stories—one from my childhood, and one from the here and now; both the same, yet with vast differences between them.

Soon, an usher notified me that I’d need to leave as there was another showing, and they were about to begin seating. I stood and made my way to the exit where I found the bustling streets of New York awaiting me.


As I made my way toward Broadway Avenue, I realized that there were certain things in this world that looked different to me now. I would like to think, that in some small way, that I have been changed as well—for good.



And, if you're interested…here is this, and this. However, whatever you do…don't click on this one.

Finally, as for the photos on this page, I sadly only took one of them. The rest were pilfered from the Internet. Of course, it would happen that I couldn't find the reference sheet I'd made so I couldn't tell you exactly where I found them all from. Of course, I could re-look them up, but I'm lazy...

14 comments:

Amy said...

I saw Wicked for the first time last May in Omaha. Loved it! I really need to read the book too. I heard mixed reviews about the book. Did you happen to read it first? I should have.

Rachel said...

You know......I've not seen either......I know. I'm lame. In my defence!! I didn't grow up with a TV......so....the opportunity wasn't there and now that I have kids.......it's still not a priority......odd duck that I am.....

Just SO said...

Oh...you have changed me...for good. :)

Just SO said...

I haven't seen the play but I have heard that song "For good" and I absolutely love it. It makes me think of my mom.

I did try to read the book but it was TOO bizarre.

Linn said...

So I'm with Rachel--I've never seen either. I'm so glad I'm not the only person in the world. :)

I have to admit I don't really even want to watch Wizard of Oz, but I would love to see Wicked! It is coming to our area this fall, so we will see.

Kelly said...

I saw Wicked with my husband in New York this past summer. It was an amazing experience. Thanks for taking me back. Did you take the photos? I love the one on the street!

Linked to you from Jayniemoon today. I loved this post so I may lurk again : )

Teachinfourth said...

A - I started the book a few years ago but it was a bit too bizarre. I wouldn't recommend it.

R - Say WHAT? Oh well, I guess there has to be one in every city. Glad that ours is you…

J - I have a few individuals that that song makes me think of as well. There are a few of those folks who've come into my life over the years.

L - Tell you what, whenever I finally make it over to hang out with you guys someday, I'll bring the video along just for good measure.

K - Wasn't it amazing? It was one of the high points of my trip. As for the photos, I sadly only took one. The rest were from online, only I couldn't find my sheet where I had them all referenced from…I better add a disclaimer at the bottom. In fact, I'm going to do that now.

Oh, and feel free to lurk anytime.

Gerb said...

I'm not sure I would ever tire of seeing this musical. It is, by far, my favorite of any I've attended. I re-live it at least weekly through the soundtrack, but I need to figure out a way to see this one again.

summer said...

I have been waiting and waiting to see this show - sadly, the tickets are still going strong so I'm going to need to just buy full-price tickets, or try for the lottery. Did you try that? If I could somehow win the lottery to see the show - then perhaps OZ isn't so far away after all!

I love the original Wizard of OZ - I haven't had my children watch it yet...which I have no logical explanation why, but I suppose we got caught up in other musicals old and new. I also wanted to be sure they were old enough...those flying monkeys give me the creepies every time!

Your pictures and tale have inspired me though...I think I see Wicked in my near(er) future. After we get back from UT that is :)

Corine said...

I've always wanted to see that play! LUCKY YOU! :)

Richard & Natalie said...

Whew! I made it through all the links and all I can say is lucky you...In New York, nonetheless (sigh).
I love the song "For Good"; so many people it applies to in my life. Thanks for sharing it here, TF.

Farscaper said...

I wish comment moderation wasn't on so I could see if my post was published or lost in cyberspace. After hitting publish I got an error message.

Lori said...

1) I love musicals. Saw Chicago and Phantom of the Opera in London, and the Billy Joel ensemble Movin Out in NYC. I will totally see Wicked next time I'm there.

2) Loved those pictures, and was totally going to beg for a tutorial in how you managed to capture them from your seat in a darkened theater, but alas...I guess you can't tell me that. ;) But if I'm guessing correctly, you took the one outside the Gershwin--how did you get the people to look as they do, while the sign is stationary and clear? Very cool effect.

tiburon said...

This is one Broadway show I have been dying to see.

Maybe this summer :)

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