This is a not a Book post because I have never managed to get to the end of Gregory Maguire’s book that Wicked is based on. And it’s not through lack of effort – I’ve tried several times, over a period of years!
Anyway, last weekend we went to see Wicked, which was my third trip to the show. I remain convinced that it’s one of the best of the family musicals for older children, and the reaction of my nieces confirmed that. While Matilda works for anyone old enough to sit through a musical, Wicked works for nines and up who have seen the Wizard of Oz, especially if they’re girls. And there’s always something special about sharing a show that means a lot to you with other people. The nerves while you’re hoping that they’ll like it. The relief when they do – and the excitement that you have someone to talk to about a thing you like – it’s like lending a book except that you get to experience it again at the same time. Bonus.
My earliest internet community was based around musicals and so back in the day I was waiting for this to arrive from the US – and went in a group to one of the previews – complete with Idina Menzell (way before everyone knew her from Frozen, I was in there ahead of the crowd). I already knew a lot of the music but I hadn’t read any spoilers and it really blew me away. I remember saying at the time that the level of spectacle was the mid 2000s equivalent of Phantom of the Opera. And 15 years on it still works on me. I always forget bits of the detail – despite the fact that the CD still lives in my car glove box*, and when I did car commuting I sang along to it all the time and I still now all the words. Him Indoors is not a musicals person generally, so it’s always a risk taking him to stuff, but even he conceeded that Wicked is clever – even if he said it didn’t need the songs!
Anyway, as I’ve said before, having to stop doing everything in the pandemic really crystalised what is important to me and what I missed (and what I didn’t ) and so now things are opened up more and the theatre companies are putting stuff on again, it’s a delight to be able to go back and do things again. In fact, this trip should actually have happened before Christmas, but was postponed because of a positive covid test in part of the family. I’m working on refilling my theatre ticket box – so undoubtedly you’ll be hearing more about my outings.
Have a good Sunday and please try not to doomscroll.
* current car glove box CDs: Rufus Wainwright Vibrate, Wicked Original Broadway Cast, Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Give People What They Want, Caravan Palace Caravan Palace. It’s a small glovebox.