Saturday, June 18, 2011

Local Travels: The Kennedy Center: Wicked

Life can be super awesome if you have been living on about 2 hours of sleep a day . . .for about 2 weeks. You find yourself becoming a comedian during staff meetings, climbing over boxes in a dress and heels looking for a picture of Barney the purple dinosaur, craving General Tso's chicken like the world is ending thisverysecond, and are prone to episodes of squealing delirium. 

Add a night at the theater to all this and you got gold.

On Friday I went with a merry band of friends to the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center for opening week of  Wicked: The Untold Stories of the Witches of OZ.  This award winning musical is based on the book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maquire.  I read the book, several years ago and really enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed it after I got over the shock of it not being what I expected. When you think of the Wizard of Oz, you think of the children's section of the library. Wicked, definitely isn't a children's book. I was surprised by the amount of social commentary in the book. But what an interesting concept! Every story has another side.  Was the Witch always wicked? How did she become wicked? How do we define what "wicked" actually is? 

I was warned that the musical is different from the book, so it was best to separate them and enjoy the musical as its own story. Which I tried to do and I loved it. The music was great ("He's the guy, but I'm not the girl = story of my life), the dialogue witty, themes, costumes were fun (so much green!), and all this all brought out squeals (really) of delight from my mouth. I am a fun patron of the arts.

A couple of my friends had seen the musical on Broadway with Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel playing the lead roles (see, I have very classy friends). They pointed out differences in the productions, songs and scenes was changed or cut out, different performers bring different aspects to the characters, etc. But all and all, two thumbs up from the peanut gallery. 

Plus, every now and then, how fun is it to dress up, sit on velveteen seats and tell people that you are going the theater? 

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