Monday, February 25, 2008

No One Mourns the WICKED ~ Oh, But Someone Does

I think I can get through WICKED in two posts.

Good and Evil. I have discovered in seminary that not everyone questions Evil's existence and meanderings, but most other people do.

Glinda: Are some people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?

When you encounter evil, don't you wonder from whence it originated? In WICKED, the one authentically good character, the one character of unwavering intergrity, has wickedness thrust upon her. But others come to it via alternate routes: carelessness, expedience, desire, confusion, adulation.

Other themes: Integrity. Longing. Choices. Second Chances. Glinda sings,

But I couldn't be happier
Simply couldn't be happier
Well - not "simply:
'Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated
There's a kind of a sort of : 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 the audience goes wild when she reaches out for her lost self at the very end of the show, connecting past heartache to future power.

Connections across the decades. I will never forget how terrified I was by those flying monkeys when I first saw The Wizard of Oz at the age of five. Now I know why they are so loyal to Elphaba. And who in the western world does not associate striped stockings and sparkling ruby slippers with her sister? When Nessa gets the ruby slippers, we know exactly where she and they are going to end up and, when the house falls and Glinda shows up, don't those of us who are now grown women remember wanting the sparkly dress, the wand, the crown, and the bubble method of transportation? And now, perhaps, we know that we don't want them at all because, like Glinda, we have learned something about cost.

The friendship of women. From one girls' boarding school to another to a women's college to the practice of law to at-home mothering back to work and now back to fulltime school, I have experienced the friendships of women as mainstays of my life. From the clever verbal comedy when Elphaba and Glinda first encounter one another ~

What is this feeling?
Fervid as a flame,
Does it have a name?
Yes! Loathing
Unadulterated loathing
Let's just say - I loathe it all
Ev'ry little trait, however small
Makes my very flesh begin to crawl
With simple utter loathing
There's a strange exhilaration
In such total detestation
It's so pure, so strong!

to the hilarious physical comedy that marks Glinda's irrepressible enthusiasm in undertaking an impossible makeover ~

And when someone needs a makeover
I simply have to take over
I know, I know exactly what they need
And even in your case
Though it's the toughest case I've yet to face
Don't worry, I'm determined to succeed

to the love expressed by friends choosing different paths ~

I really hope you get it,
And you don't live to regret it!
I hope you're happy in the end!
I hope you're happy, my friend!

to the final acknowledgment of that love ~ the show lifts up friendship as the great gift that it is.

Friendship across the board. There are a number of combinations of characters who could sing Elphaba's and Glinda's final duet, as there are no doubt a few friends in your own life of whom you would sing it:

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you ~
I have been changed for good

You need the music to do the lyrics justice -- go out and get a CD!


Stratoz said...

just got caught up with your fine writing and heart-felt life. I am glad you have had more time to get words down for us to read.

Katherine E. said...

Oh, WOW. Both of my daughters-by-marriage love this musical, but I've never paid much attention, although I love so many musicals. I still have birthday money left and this will make a FINE gift for myself--I'm going out to by the CD soon!

Thanks for playing the meme, by the way. Enjoyed reading about you in that fun way.

Magdalene6127 said...

I just love that show. When that last song shows up on my iPod, I always cry.

Thanks so much for this!

JP said...

you have stolen the image from my review ;)

But not to worry, can't say i took that image in the first place.

Gannet Girl said...

It seems to have come from London in the first place.