I felt I needed to delineate both topics. The Wicked book and subsequent musical hold a dear place in my heart.
Wicked is the alternate story/parallel of the Wicked Witches of the Wizard of Oz written by Gregory Maguire. It has 2 sequels, but the original is brilliant.
The book is an absolute must read. I don’t care what kind of book you like – you simply MUST read Wicked. I would say just buy it, but going to your library is another awesome option.
I absolutely refuse to spoil it, so you can look it up on your own. This goes for both the book and the movie – Wiki has tons of spoilers throughout, so if you don’t want to spoiler it, DO NOT LOOK IT UP.
The musical. The original Broadway cast was absolutely amazing. The subsequent casts have been amazing. Stephen Schwartz is a brilliant composer and assembled an amazing team of individuals to bring together this amazing show. Have I said how amazing this show is? Yeah. I saw it twice on Broadway – the second time 3? days before Idina’s last day, from 6th row that time (6th row! oh my god.) I also took my parents to see it on Halloween night in Wichita, and we also had AMAZING seats. (They really, really enjoyed it. It was their first real musical.)
The original cast starred Idina Menzel (who, if you haven’t realized by now, is someone I greatly admire), Kristen Chenoweth (also a woman who I highly admire), and a PLETHORA of others.
The music … for someone like me, who used to have a 4.5+ octave range, it was simply heaven when I heard it the first time. Every time since then, I still get chills down my spine when I listen to it. I can’t really do Galinda (It’s Glinda, with a GA, to paraphrase) – Kristin’s voice is just too ethereal, and too high for me. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t sound as good. (and no wonder..)
But I still try, because it’s good to push my limits.
99% of Elphaba’s parts are perfect. Out of any musical I’ve ever sung pieces out of (with the exception of Millwork from Working… also by Stephen Schwartz), Elphaba is the only character I can sing any song from and do it with confidence. (The other character is Nessarose, who is the Wicked Witch of the East. Pity my favorite song of hers is one that is not on the soundtrack. 😦 )
I know this entry seems paltry, but I really can’t express how this musical and book make me feel. I identify so, so strongly with Elphaba in so many ways in both versions. More than I think anyone on this earth knows.
I’m having so many problems figuring out what video I’d like to link here. Defying Gravity? maybe. For Good? Possibly. In the end, it comes down to two of them for me… and I can’t decide after 5 hours, so I’ll link them both.
This one is just audio. The Wizard and I, by Elphaba.
This doesn’t do it justice, but it was oh wow. I just. Wow. I love this song for all it says, for all it doesn’t say, and it’s just a beautiful love song. This is probably the one duet I would love, love, love to be able to seriously sing with someone.
As Long As You’re Mine, by Elphaba and Fiyero.