Wicked = Wicked

Hey, after re-discovering the soundtrack to the musical ‘Wicked‘ today, I realised I had neglected to post about our visit to the Apollo Theatre in London a few months back to see this brilliant show.
Good news – it’s coming to Melbourne next year. Go and see it. Seriously.
I’ll admit, I was a bit wary about the premise – based on a novel that speculates that the two witches from The Wizard Of Oz have a backstory in which they are (how do I write this without spoiling it?)… Acquainted. Sounds cheesy.
But I’m glad we made it. Actually, our journey to the theatre that night was a drama of its own – beginning in Paris’ Gare du Nord train station early that afternoon and ending with us flopping in the seats with seconds to spare that evening (thanks to a keen – and ultimately well-rewarded – London cabby).
(Side-note – it’s very kid-friendly, but some of the concepts are fairly grownup. Our lot – 8 and up – was probably as young as you’d need to be to enjoy some of the subtleties)
I think the ‘revisionist’ approach appeals to my warped sense of humour. Much like the re-tooling of Star Wars, it puts the original story in a new light, and demolishes your perceptions of a story you thought you knew really well. I like it when that happens. I think it appeals to the same part of the brain that is stimulated by episodes of MythBusters where they blow things up just for the fun of it.
If there’s one thing I need to throw into this review to make me seem keenly critical and wise in such matters, it’s that I think the musical hits its dramatic height too early. Nonetheless, it’s the music and performances of the cast that keeps it awesome from start to finish. I hope the Australian version captures it . (There were a couple of leading Australians in the cast that I hope will deign to repatriate).
In preparation, be sure to revise your Wizard of Oz – there are so many in-jokes that you will only appreciate with a fresh dose of L. Frank Baum in your veins.
There are a few songs in there I wish I’d written. I hate Steven Schwartz. His song ‘Defying Gravity’ does exactly what it says on the box.
I haven’t seen the phrase used in a review yet, so I’m going to take it: ‘Wicked’ brought the house down.
(Ha! See what I did there? Okay – as you were. Move along.)