Changed For Good

It’s hard to believe that the first time I saw Wicked was fifteen years ago. Now, fifteen years ago, I saw the musical for the 5th time.

The Cast

Elphaba (Standby)- Natalia Vivino

Glinda- Allison Bailey

Fiyero- Jordan Litz

Boq (Understudy)- Matt Densky

Nessarose- Amanda Fallon Smith

Madmae Morrible- Sharon Sachs

The Wizard- Clevant Derracks

My Review

This was Charlotte’s first tour. It felt so good to be back in one of Blumenthal’s theaters. Just like fifteen years ago, this was a date with my mom. I had two understudies- one for Elphaba and the other for Boq. The actors I usually look forward to the most belong to those who play Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero, the only three characters I am emotionally connected to in Wicked.

Natalia Vivino was an amazing Elphaba. Like expected, I teared-up during “I’m Not That Girl, the unrequited love song. She has an amazing voice, which truly started to show during “Wizard and I”. My favorite Elphaba costume is her act II dress and from where I was sitting, I could see it sparkle at times. The Lion Cub Scene- this time around, Elphaba noticed her love for Fiyero a few moments sooner than last time.

Allison Bailey was funny as Glinda. Like any Elphaba and Glinda pair, I was able to be in tears during “For Good”. Just at times, in act II she struggled with some of Glinda’s pain she was supposed to be showing. But at least, I was able to feel the emotion came out during “For Good”, the most emotional song in the song. Jordan Litz as Fiyero was incredible as well- incredible voice.

Below are pictures from the time I saw Wicked in NYC and now- so its like things came full circle.

The ensemble was really talented. The set, as always, was very colorful and OZian and same with the costumes. Still love Wicked- still a spectacular musical!

The Meaning of Wicked

There are always those musicals that hold a lot of meaning in our lives. Wicked is a musical that really does mean a lot to me. Hard to believe I first fell in love with it fifteen years ago. So, what does the musical mean to me?

Discovery

There are a number of things I learned from the musical. I first found out about emotional connection through Wicked. I learned about its importance. You need that connection to have a reason to feel the emotions. The emotional connection in Wicked happens through Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero (especially Elphaba). I love the friendship and love triangle the most in this musical.

Also through the musical, I learned about the emotional and complex side to musicals. Four core emotions were existing- excitement, joy, love, and sad (as in the ones I discovered through Wicked. I learned what it meant for a character and plot to be complex. As the musical says “I have been changed for good”. Seen it four times already and later today catching it a 5th time. Each time I see the musical, it just gets better. Basically, Wicked sparked my love for musicals.

Emotional Connections in Wicked- MAJOR SPOILERS

One of the KEY things to find in a musical belongs to emotional connection. If there is no emotional connection, then what is the point of feeling the emotional connection. The emotional connection is the WANT, DESIRE and REASON for feeling the emotions in the first place- the reason why I love feeling the negative emotions in Wicked. True, you love the songs. In Wicked, I have a strong emotional connection to three characters, and what exactly are those characters?

Elphaba, Fiyero and Glinda

It is true, I only have an emotional connection to three characters in the musical. That is one of the reason why I spend so much time on the friendship and the love triangle in Wicked. Wicked’s love triangle is my favorite one in the musical theatre world.The center core of Wicked belongs to Elphaba and Glinda, the two protagonists. Let me say why I love these particular characters.

Elphaba/Glinda

As a matter of fact, Elphaba is my favorite musical theatre character. I strongly relate to Elphaba- for one thing, I know what it is like different and at times have felt misunderstood. In addition, I have a big heart, am impulsive and believe in staying true to myself and in equality. Also, I love her strength and courage and complexity. In addition, many people can relate to having a best friend.

As for Glinda, I can relate to part of her as well- as in her outgoing personality. These two girls have such a powerful and beautiful friendship and are quite loyal to each other. Meaning they wouldn’t get a boy get in the way- shown through the love triangle. It really strengthens their friendship in so many ways.

What about Fiyero? Yes, at first glance, he can be hard to like because he starts off as a bit of a jerk. Well, a huge reason why I LOVE him comes from his development- he goes from being a jerk to softening up to becoming a mature and courageous young man. Well, another reason does come from his surprising role in the love triangle——well, what about the unrequited love scenario? Why does it all of a sudden jump from Elphaba to Glinda? That is why I decided to pay close attention to Fiyero the 4th time I saw Wicked- to try to understand why that even happened. The Lion Cub Scene- well, in that scene, Elphaba and Fiyero were playfully flirting with each other “almost as if he had a crush on her”, and based on my actor, he decided to have weaker chemistry with Glinda and stronger chemistry with Elphaba- almost as if Glinda and Fiyero weren’t meant to be. Even after that scene, he couldn’t even stop thinking about it.

There were only TWO people in Elphaba’s life who truly accepted her as who she is- BOTH Glinda and Fiyero. Another reason to love Fiyero.

Wicked Major Milestone

Musical fans know that every meaningful musical hits special milestones in their lives.

Well, Wicked it hitting a pretty major milestone. Fifteen years ago at the Gershwin Theater, I saw Wicked for the first time. At the time, I was only 12 years old, and little did I know how much Wicked would change my life. The picture below is from my first experience with the musical. That was my first theater date with my mom- not only did we see Wicked together, but it was also a trip to NYC alone.

How many times have I seen the musical? In total, the number is four- once on Broadway and three times on tour at Ovens Auditorium. There were a number of things I learned about musicals by Wicked. I was able to discover emotional connection- most notably by Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. That was especially true through my bond I was sharing with Elphaba, who to this day, remains my favorite musical character. Not only did I discover emotional connection, but also the emotional and complex side to the musical theatre world. Four core emotions started to come into play- excitement, love, joy, and sad. If sad didn’t exist, a future emotion probably wouldn’t have easily been accepted.

Wicked actually was how I started to pick up on the concept of love triangle. Don’t remember when I started to realize there was one to begin with- however know it was connected to my first two visits to the musical. In addition, I wasn’t exactly combining emotions. Meaning, I just called “I’m Not That Girl” a sad song- not sad love song.

How did Wicked change over the years to what it was now? For starters, who the characters became was a combo of the actors I saw. That resulted in the characters becoming a lot more complex, and I become more vulnerable to what I saw. Both the love triangle and friendship deepened a lot over the years, my favorite storylines. I’m Not That Girl eventually became heartbreaking thanks to the help of On My Own- after all, both are unrequited love songs. In addition, I began to understand the plot twist a lot better, which things a whole lot clearer. Plus, emotions finally are part of No Good Deed, a song I am not the biggest fan of. Wicked gets better each time I see it- my favorite Elphaba (Mary Kate Morrissey), my favorite Glinda (Amanda Jane Copper), and my favorite Fiyero (Ashley Parker Angel).

I only am emotionally connected to Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. Each time I see Wicked, I focus primarily on the friendship and love triangle that I keep on overlooking everything else.

Some of my favorite songs: Popular, As Long as Your’e Mine, What is this Feeling, For Good, Dancing Through Life, Defying Gravity, I’m Not That Girl, Wizard and I

I’m Not That Girl Analysis

This song is one of Elphaba’s solos in Wicked and might mean SPOILERS if you proceed in this post. It is actually the first song in the love triangle. Yes, it may be heartbreaking, but it isn’t the most emotional song in Wicked. This sounds odd to say, but it is also an ironic song.

Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I’m not that girl

Don’t dream too far
Don’t lose sight of who you are
Don’t remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I’m not that girl

Every so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who’s winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That’s the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I’m not that girl

Don’t wish, don’t start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl

There’s a girl I know
He loves her so
I’m not that girl

Stephen Schwartz, Wicked

Moments before Elphaba sings this unrequited love song, she just realizes her feelings for Fiyero. She actually confesses in the song that she doesn’t think she is good enough for him because is green through the lyrics, “I wasn’t born for the rose and pearl”. Actually, she decides to NOT steal him away from her best friend, Glinda. That is literally how strong their friendship is- meaning they will not let a boy get in the way. That really is how loyal the two best friends are.

But why do I say this song is IRONIC? Little does Elphaba know that Fiyero has feelings for her. The two actually have no idea that they will eventually end up with each other. That is why the song is ironic- as in she will not always have the unrequited love. There was some foreshadowing in act I that this will eventually happen, but will not be noticed if you weren’t paying close attention. Fiyero and Elphaba already have a stronger chemistry than Fiyero and Glinda. Even the Lion Cub scene has clues- look at how they are interacting- almost playfully flirting- plus Fiyero can’t stop thinking about that incident.