When I first recieved the CDWicked for my birthday, I had absolutely no expectation of musical greatness. Really? A musical about the Wizard of Oz? Been there, done that! However, when I began to listen, I became addicted to the soundtrack, especially with songs like "Defying Gravity" and "Thank Goodness".
Finally, a couple of years later, I heard tell of the musical coming to a nearby theatre. I jumped on the opportunity.
As I entered into the theater, the stage was garnished with beautiful circular arches that sparkled as if under a starry night sky with a dragon statue above it. Being a huge musical buff, I was impressed by the stage design; it was literally the best I have ever seen.
From the moment the orchestra began to play and the motionless dragon statue snapped to life, I was taken into the mystical land of Oz, where creatures both human and animal lived together in a society. As the actors and actresses appeared on the stage, singing in perfect harmony and pitch, their costumes were very "Oz"-like in appearance, displaying beautiful tailoring with a flair. The world of Oz never seemed so real.
I was always fascinated by the story of the "Wizard of Oz"; But Wicked tells the story from a different perspective, by none other than the Wicked Witch of the West, Alphaba. Alphaba instantly stole my heart with her surprising kindness, courage, and beautiful alto voice. Coupled with the charming, debounair, and giddy Glinda the Good Witch's soprano sound, the pair blended well together, achieving perfect harmony in both their singing and acting.
Never was such a story told in a beautiful, heartfelt, bittersweet, and tragic way. I felt my heart nearly pounding out of my chest when Alphaba sang my favorite song "Defying Gravity". The enthusiastic and courageous face of Alphaba coupled with the heart-stopping stage effects of the lights and lifts, left me with hardly a breath and a tear in my eye. Never has the power of courage and kindness been so clearly expressed than in Alphaba's voice.
Of course, I cannot completely leave out the wonderful talent that was Glinda. Her stage transformation to maturity and tough life choices is reflected in her heart-felt songs. I found myself sympathizing and fully understanding Glinda's dual role as both the Witch of Oz and Alphaba's loyal friend. The power of friendship and its consequences captured me in its warm embrace, leaving me shaking with joy.
Needless to say, I felt inspired coming out of this musical. Find the CD on amazon for a great price!