Here’s the plot summary from the musical’s official website:
So much happened before Dorothy dropped in.
WICKED tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
It’s been my dream to watch this show ever since I became addicted to a few of its songs. I remembered having to be introduced to this musical by a friend who has interests in these sorts of things. And I owe it to this friend of mine because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have slowly shown interests in musical plays – a form of art that deserves to be appreciated more by the people.
Moving on, WICKED The Musical begins its production in Singapore on December 6, 2011 at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theater. After learning about this news, I immediately reserved the date solely for WICKED. I invited my sisters and mother to accompany me, so we booked our plane tickets months before December and had our tickets for the play reserved on the 18th of December. Time seemed to come by slowly, but as it neared the month of December, the more excited I became.
And finally, the moment has come when we flew to Singapore. My energy did not seem to die down – this adrenaline rush kept my heart beating faster than ever. After months of waiting, another dream of mine has come true. This could not get any better, and I wouldn’t ask for anything more than this.
Upon entering the theater, my family and I were amazed by its stunning display of the Time Dragon Clock, and a map of Oz that was served as the stage’s curtain. The name of the theater gave it all – with its grand and sophisticated architectural design, the theater encompasses comfortable seats facing a big stage enough for everyone to see. It was evident that everything has been planned out perfectly and passionately, giving the audience the Oz-y feeling and letting them be involved in the world of Oz.
Everything is just spellbinding – from the extravagant costumes designed by Susan Hilferty, mesmerizing special effects of lights and sounds to the captivating songs and lyrics of the show! There was even a live orchestra playing at the orchestra pit of the stage. I couldn’t help but be in awe of the extent of the production team’s effort to make the show flawless and memorable for everyone.
WICKED is, indeed, the untold story of the Witches of Oz. The audiences are brought back to the time before Dorothy and her dog, Toto, dropped in to the world of Oz, before Elphaba became the Wicked Witch of the West, and how Elphaba and Glinda (the Good) became best of friends.
The story begins with the citizens of Oz celebrating the death of the Wicked Witch as Glinda the Good enters the stage in a bubble and recalls the life of Elphaba. I am amazed by how the production team creatively transitioned the story smoothly from present time to the past through a simple yet striking form of dialogue, emphasizing how Elphaba came to be. And I can’t help but share the dialogue with you:
Girl: Glinda, why does wickedness happen?
Glinda: That’s a good question. One that many people find confusing: Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?
Isn’t it amazing that I also encountered that same question when I took up a Philosophy subject on morals and ethics? Hearing the dialogue surprises me because this philosophical statement will actually push people to ponder about the existence of evil in this world and it’s up to the audience to figure out which of the two is the truth. And the progression of the story will lead people to a certain, definite answer.
Moving on, the tandem between Elphaba and Glinda has been made realistic and I came to love how their friendship developed. Glinda, played by Suzie Mathers, is a humorous, perky, vain, and popular young woman who gets to have things her way. One thing I find interesting in her characteristic is that despite her spoiled brat personality, goodness still comes within her. On the other hand, Elphaba, played by Jemma Rix, is someone who is often misunderstood due to her emerald-skinned appearance. An outcast in the social norm, she still maintains an open mind and look at things differently. She cares for her sister, Nessarose (played by Elisa Colla), and is never afraid to go against the norm as long as she knows what is right. Her disposition proves that her personality can outshine her being “beautifully tragic”.
As you can see, Glinda is the very opposite of Elphaba. Albeit being enemies at first in terms of the differences in their personality and views in life, they were able to become friends in the most unexpected ways. The character development of all characters is so strong that each cast is significant throughout the show and their performance has been the best one I ever seen.
Elphaba has the most complex character development of all and the audience will be enlightened by how she decides to become a Wicked Witch, wearing her signature witch hat. She has shown empathy towards others that she can’t stand the feeling of pain and always blames herself for something that isn’t her fault; thus, she decides not to do good deeds anymore. Moreover, I love how her relationship with Fiyero (played by David Harris) evolves into a profound connection which proves to show that love does not limit itself to matching beautiful appearances, but it goes beyond to the experiences they share with one another.
Each of the casts is very talented and I am astonished by Jemma Rix’s and Suzie Mathers’ harmonious voices, reaching the high tones perfectly. They can blend in well together and show how their designated characters are a perfect fit for them. I also realized that Jemma Rix may also be the one who played as Elphaba during the WICKED show in Universal Studios Japan which we watched in 2009.
Throughout the show, I guess the highlight of it is to let the audience know that in every person, there’s always a good side and a bad side. It ultimately depends on what the person chooses to become, just like how we come to know the good side of Elphaba, not the Wicked Witch we know from where Dorothy appeared in the Wizard of Oz.
The story of WICKED is so deep and dynamic that words cannot express how amazed and impressed I am by the show. The script and lyrics are witty/humorous yet inspiring and rich with meaningful dialogues which deeply moved people. It has surely made a great impact to the audience and can unmistakably tug at one’s heartstrings because it is politically correct in a sense that people can relate to the show in their lives. I, myself, am so engrossed with the show that I can’t stop smiling until the end. It surely exceeds my expectations as it is unique and spectacular in itself that I believe no other show can surpass the way it emotionally affects the audience.
WICKED The Musical truly did not disappoint me. And I am looking forward to watch more runs of WICKED in the future.