Friday, January 8, 2010

Wickedly Good--A Night at The Academy

Staring down the steep stair case, vertigo struck. All that was between me and an audience full of people twenty feet below was this metal rail. I had a feeling that if I wasn't careful, I would become the major attraction of the show! Anyone who has been to the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and has sat in the amphitheater knows what I am talking about.

However, I managed to make my way to the seat without tumbling to my death. And, I am glad I did because what a show!

I went to see "Wicked" with my book club. We are eight women, known as the Grapes of Cath (Cathy hatched the idea for the group and organized it). I read the book by Gregory McGuire back in grad school at the recommendation of my friend Veronica. I absolutely loved it. I love literature from the perspective of one of the other characters. (Jean Rhys did this type of literature for Bronte's Jane Eyre called Wide Sargasso Sea which is the novel's story told from the perspective of the crazy wife in the attic.) What was amazing about the novel was the political intrigue and the moral ambiguity which is more reflective of the real world than the simple good and evil of the original Wizard of Oz. I definitely plan on reading his other novels "Son of a Witch" and "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister".

While the musical could not capture the complexities and undercurrents of the novel, it did stay true to the perspective of the Wicked Witch, presenting her as a likeable, sympathetic character. Rarely can a movie or musical capture all that a book can. The advantage though, that movies and musicals seem to have over books is the opportunity for feasting the eyes and ears. As someone who loves musicals, I really enjoyed both the visual aspects and the music of "Wicked". It was a truly entertaining experience. The Academy of Music in Philly was also a great experience. Would I go there again to see other shows? I'll give a wicked yes to that!

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