So let’s talk musicals and theater. Let’s talk about the musical I just saw. Let’s talk about “Wicked!”
I went to see the musical a few weeks ago with my mom and my sisters, and I have to say it was amazing. Having read both the Oz books as a child and the first two books of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series, upon which the play was based, I was pretty familiar with the back story and had a good idea of how Maguire had introduced some of his own elements in his interpretation of Oz. It followed the basic story of the first Wicked book, but also took a delightful departure from it.
The main theme we see is the choice of whether or not to conform to the status quo, particularly when those in power do so many questionable things and oppress innocent people. Elphaba and Glinda perfectly represent this dichotomy. Elphaba, who has always had ambitions of working alongside the Wizard in governing Oz, is shocked and disillusioned when the Wizard only uses her to decipher the incantations in the Grimmerie. She puts aside all of her ambitions to do what is right and fight against the wrongs of the Wizard’s regime, and in the end she is willing to make sacrifices so that she can protect herself and those around her.
Glinda, however, is much different. While many times she might come across as selfish, particularly after she and Elphaba part ways, it’s evident that she is doing what she can to make a small difference and to somehow save Elphaba. It takes her much longer than Elphaba to see what kind of man the Wizard truly is, and in the end, she assists Elphaba’s endeavors to some degree. But her chance comes just as news of Elphaba’s demise reaches the Emerald City, and she does what she can to not only rid Oz of the Wizard, but do so in such a way to keep the peace and maintain the status quo.
All in all, “Wicked” isn’t just a story about two women who have become unlikely friends, but about two women who did what they knew to be right and changed the world around them, one from outside the system, and the other within it.