10 Reasons Why You Should Definitely See Wicked on Tour

 

Wicked - Emerald City

After all this time, I think it’s clear that I am a fan of Wicked. I mean…why else would I see it 6 times in 3 different cities? I love it so much that I am finding it difficult to write a fair an unbiased review. Since, Thursday night I have been brainstorming and trying to come up with some critical remarks. The best I’ve got is “the actress playing Glinda isn’t my favorite…still incredibly talented, but not my favorite.”  And that’s it! So, instead of telling you the good and the bad parts of this show, I’m just going to tell you 10 Reasons Why You Should Definitely See Wicked on Tour.

Wicked NY

10. The Costumes. The costumes in Wicked are nothing short of great. They munchkins look short and funny. The Emerald City citizens look crazy and whimsical. Glinda looks spectacular while Elphaba manages to look simultaneously nerdy, homely, studious and wicked. I’ve seen these costumes backstage on Broadway and the detail is fantastic. These are the types of wardrobes you will want to touch, try on and ooh and aww over.

Wicked - Emerald City

9. The Set. The Wicked Tour is extra special because the set (which is insane) is basically identical to the one on Broadway. The producers of the show want you to get your moneys worth. They are determined to give you nothing short of what you would see in NYC. It’s incredible to walk into the theatre and realize they have transformed the stage into this incredible place that has flying witches, bubbles, a giant dragon, bridges, castles and enormous moving gears and clocks. I was there to see them put the set together and still don’t know how they do it!

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8. The History. Wicked has broken numerous box office records, won a crazy amount of rewards and has been seen by literally millions of people worldwide. This show is a piece of artistic and theatrical history. It’s songs are performed time and time again, it’s referenced in TV shows and movies and  Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth originated the roles of Elphaba and Glinda. This musical will be talked about for years to come, don’t you want to participate in those conversations?

7. The Lessons. I touched a lot on this in Thursday’s blog. We learn about accepting ourselves, being brave and standing up for ourselves and others from Elphaba. From Glinda, we learn to accept others and the cost of getting what we wish for… it’s not always what it seems.

Wicked

6. The Backstory. In case you haven’t heard, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz. You will learn how one became good, one became Wicked and even where the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch of the East, they flying monkeys and the Wizard came from. It’s interesting.

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5. The Culture. Face it, most of us are not getting enough culture in our lives. We don’t go to museums enough, read enough, listen to great music or see enough theatre. We need to feed our souls with more talent and art! Do your soul a favor and buy a ticket to Wicked. Get the Broadway experience in your home town and watch some truly talented actors perform their hearts out.

4. A Night Out. Seeing Wicked on tour will give you and your better half a chance to have a fancy date night. You can dress up, have dinner, see the show and grab some cocktails. OR, make it a family night out. Wicked is kid-friendly which means you can all go and check it off as family outing and an artsy night for the kids. Perfect.

3. Defying Gravity (and all the music). I am still obsessed with the entire soundtrack from Wicked. Husband and I know every word to every song and sing it a little too often on road trips. The obvious standout is “Defying Gravity”. Even if you’ve never seen Wicked, you have most likely heard this song on various occasions. It’s been on Glee and New Girl and it’s been performed by dozens of others. I get goosebumps every time I hear someone hit that high f at the end. I also get goosebumps every time I hear Idina sing.

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2. The Comedy. Wicked isn’t known for it’s hilarity, but there are many LOL moments. Glinda’s character is hilarious. No matter how many times I’ve seen the show I can’t help but laugh at her ditzy nieve self.

Gina Beck by Matt Crockett

1. The Magic. I guess one reason I love Wicked so much is the same reason I love Disney so much…it’s magical. I get goosebumps and tears in my eyes as I watch. The sets change so seamlessly, characters disappear, costumes change, wizardry is performed and you will constantly wonder “How did they do that?”

Convinced? Good! Now check out their tour schedule and order those tickets. Or, if you are in Middle Tennessee get your tickets here. Have fun and let me know what you think of the show!

Cheers!

 

 

 

What about Glinda?

The most popular movies, tv shows, books, etc are loved and successful because we, the fans, relate to them. It’s why young girls adore Taylor Swift’s music, why we are all currently obsessed with Frozen and even why we can’t get enough of The Walking Dead. It also explains why Wicked is Broadway’s’ biggest success. Everyone knows that Elphaba is the green girl who never fits in, rises above her enemies and learns to stand-up for herself and for what’s right. We have all felt like an outsider at some point in our lives; we have all been Elphaba, but what about Glinda?

Wicked - Emerald City

Glinda is the pretty “pink girl”. She’s practically perfect…she’s bubbly, cute, rich, popular and has all the self-confidence in the world. Glinda is the girl the that everyone wants to be and the girl that everyone hated and envied in high school. But, is that all? Does the depth of her character and her role in the musical end there? At first glance, I wold have said “yes”. We watch Wicked and see her as the head cheerleader we loved to hate or the co-worker who seems to have it all. She’s the one we strive to beat at the game of life. However, after all this time of being obsessed with Wicked, I’ve come to see Glinda in a different light.

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Sure, she begins the play as a ditzy egotistical self-absorbed  teenager, but as the story progresses so does Glinda. She learns to stop judging others, she befriends Elphaba and even learns to put others before herself. But, what I find most interesting and valuable in Glinda’s growth is that she realizes that what you want in life is often not what you need and most importantly, that getting what you want does not equal happiness.

At the end of the play she sings a song with her fellow Ozians called “Thank Goodness”. They are singing about how grateful they are that Elphaba (the wicked witch) is out of sight and celebrating Glinda’s promotion to “Glinda the Good, officially”. The citizens are singing about how horrible and scary Elphaba, but Glinda knows the truth…that Elphaba is far from wicked, and only hiding so she can continue to fight for the rights of others. Anyways, in this scene Glinda sings of her happiness, or what should be her happiness.

That’s why I couldn’t be happier
No, I couldn’t be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated

How many of us strive so hard to reach some goal, date some person or buy some specific outfit only to find it’s not what we thought it would be. How many times have we thought, “If only I had this…then I’d be happy.” After we get what we wanted so desperately does it truly satisfy? Or do we just want for something else? And at what cost are willing to pay to get these things?

‘Cause getting your dreams
It’s strange, but it seems
A little – well – complicated
There’s a kind of a sort of a cost
There’s a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn’t know you crossed
Until you’ve crossed
And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn’t thrill you like you think it will

Like Glinda, we have all gone a bit too far at times to get what we will think will make us happy. We have paid too much money, risked friendships, lost sleep, missed job opportunities… reaching that dream of ours always has its costs. We often stay so focused on it that we fail to recognize the life happening on the road to our success. Then, once we make it, it’s not what we thought it would be. I can’t tell you how many times I reached some goal… new job, new degree, new dress, etc and thought “This is it? This what I’ve worked towards for the past year…shouldn’t I feel happier or more fulfilled?”

Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true
Well, isn’t it?

Is it? I think that’s the question Glinda poses for all of us. When we finally get our dream job, marry that perfect person, start a family, make tons of money or whatever it is we dream will bring us happiness it often fails to do so. Not that those things can’t or don’t bring happiness…they do, but if we are depending on these wants and dreams to bring us happiness we are sure to be disappointed. We must learn to be happy with ourselves first, find happiness in the road to our successes and appreciate the small victories and people we meet along that road. Then, when and if are dreams come true we can truly enjoy them or not be devastated when they don’t meet our every expectation.

Wicked

I love when I hear this song because it always seems to play at the exact moment that I need it. I have a bad habit of building up very high expectations for just about everything, which means I am easily disappointed. Glinda reminds me that my happiness shouldn’t depend on my house, my Husband, my child, my career or my wardrobe. My happiness depends on me, how I live my life, how I handle each situation and how I treat those I care most about in my life.

Wicked

Glinda and Elphaba are both waiting for something to bring them happiness, the perfect guy, the right skin color, etc, and in the end they realize happiness is far more complicated. In the end, they discover that they had each taught each other how to be a better person. The person they thought they hated most, the thing they thought they would never need was one thing they needed most, and isn’t that something we can all relate to?

Cheers!

What’s Behind Wicked’s Curtain

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Wicked is officially in Nashville and I could not be happier! Over the years I have seen a ridiculous amount of Broadway shows, but Wicked is still my all-time favorite. It was the first show I ever saw on Broadway and this Thursday will be my 6th time to see it. It will also be my third time seeing it in Nashville! I will be reviewing the show on Thursday, but tonight I’m going to give you a peak into what goes into making this show the greatness that it is.

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is awesome and they invited me to come watch the Wicked crew load-in and setup for their 4 week engagement in Andrew Jackson Hall. The Wicked set, props and costuming is unbelievable. It’s the most intricate scenery I’ve ever seen on stage and the tour is almost identical to the set on Broadway. So, watching the entire thing get unloaded, brought in and put together is really impressive. It takes about 2 and a half days to put this intricate set together and eight hours to load it back into the trucks.

This where the giant semi's backup and unload into the theatre.
This where the giant semi’s backup and unload into the theatre.
I learned that these are called "elephant doors", which makes a lot of sense, considering an elephant can easily fit through them.
I learned that these are called “elephant doors”, which makes a lot of sense, considering an elephant can easily fit through them.

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Not only did I get to an insider’s look into how the show is unfolded, but I also had the pleasure of interviewing their company manager, Steve Quinn. Steve is a very outgoing and friendly guy who has been with the Emerald City tour for 9 years. He knows his stuff. He was asked if there are any plans in the works for musicals or plays to be made from the other books that were written. Sadly, he has never heard of any such plans. (Wouldn’t that be cool though?) He pointed out that it’s hard to have lightening strike twice, which is true, but Idina Menzel did have Defying Gravity and Let It Go… so it’s not impossible.

steve

He believes the main draw of Wicked and its huge success is the fact that we have all been a “green girl”, Elphaba, at some point in our lives. We have all been at the point where we feel awkward or just don’t fit in with that main group. The story of Elphaba is one we can all relate to and we all have to learn to accept who we are and that’s what Wicked celebrates. I completely agree with his theory, it’s a similar theme in Frozen, which explains it’s popularity as well. However, I think there’s a huge lesson to be learned in Glenda’s story as well. I’ll touch on that later this week.

I had to know his favorite part of his job. He told me he loves standing out front before the show starts and watching the faces of all the guests, from city to city, coming to see the show for the first time. There is so much excitement and wonder in their eyes as they come through the lobby.

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I feel as if I know Wicked inside and out. I thought I was becoming more and more jaded to the magic behind Broadway shows, but I’ve got to say that my experience today has me all pumped up to see the show again on Thursday!

If you are interested in seeing Wicked in Nashville, then check out the show times and ticket information here. To my friends outside of Nashville, check out the tour schedule here.