I have read the book [Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years)] (meh), listened to the Original Broadway Cast recording (OBC) [Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)] (AWESOME) and have wanted to see Wicked for a very long time, but had never been able to make it happen.
When I was reading the book on a recommendation from my soon to be mother-in-law a few years ago, I thought that the look inside the story was interesting, but way too long and it seemed to go on FOREVER. There were interesting nuggets and it had some great potential. Intriguing parts of the story were there, but there were a lot of parts of the book that could have been made way more entertaining and others that should have been cut out all together. I kept plowing through the book because I love the Wizard of Oz, and I wanted to love this. But, even as I finished the book, I wasn't all that impressed - and a little disappointed in the story.
I don't know when I first heard the OBC, but I think it was on Pandora on a Broadway Channel I had created. Then I was able to listen to the whole OBC eventually, and I wanted to see the musical live, because it sounded awesome from the music. And if it sucked, at least I could look forward to the music that I had heard over and over and over.
The touring company of Wicked were going to be in Kalamazoo around our anniversary and we got tickets to go see it the day before our anniversary in Miller Auditorium 12/11/10 at 2pm. I was stoked!
It lived up and surpassed my highest expectations! I mean, WOW! The songs that were amazing as stand alone pieces on a CD, were phenomenal in the context of the story. The sets and costumes were spectacular, the performers were superb. The woman who played Elphaba blew me away. Before seeing the show, 'Defying Gravity' had meant a great deal to me and seeing her perform it in context of the story and how firmly she was in character was beautiful. When I get home and look at my playbill I will edit this post to contain her name, but her performance of 'Defying Gravity' moved me to tears, it was marvelous.
I wouldn't exchange that experience for anything and we are definitely going to see the show again. I want to live on the east coast, close enough to NYC so I can see Broadway shows whenever I want.
Amazing. And if you are a part of the cast that performed for us that day - thank you. You were unparalleled in anything I have ever seen in live theatre.