Friday, March 13, 2009

Something 'Wicked' This Way Comes ...

CommentaryFrom the title of this entry, one might think that I reference the 1962 novel by Ray Bradbury, or the 1983 film adaptation, of the same, staring Jason Robards. One might even surmise, judging by my copious girth, that I am directing that statement at a double cheese pizza that is coming ever closer to my awaiting door via a less-then-pleased-to-be-out-in-the-cold-tonight-converse-wearing delivery dood of non-american origination. If so . . .

[Doorbell rings in the distance. Dog barks]

Mr Joatmon: Hold on ...

[Unintelligible mumbling]

Mr Joatmon: Twenty three bucks?! Are you kidding me? That's obscene ...

[More mumbling]

Mr Joatmon (sarcastically): Ha ha ... yes 'I've looked in the mirror lately.'

[Door shuts loudly]

Mr Joatmon (looking through peep hole in door): Jack-hole!

[Hand gesture off stage, left]

Mr Joatmon: I saw that! Twit . . .

So . . . anyway . . .

I was abundantly privileged tonight, to have the opportunity to be entertained by a performance on the big stage; not my usual input via the 'boob tube'; and what a privilege it was.

Tonight I got to see Wicked ... and in a word: awesome.

I say that without any preconceived expectations from the performance, for I knew nothing of the play and very little of the book, therefor no bias existed to sway my rating.

The set was complex and elaborate with intricate mechanics as moving portions of the facade. Colorful lighting and backdrops that enhanced the mood and in no way detracted from the performances. And the songs? One, of which, was moving and timeless: The Good. Sung with emotion and coupled with plays depiction of a strained and often destructive friendship. To the caring heart, the words reach deep.
"Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better?
But because I knew you ...
I have been changed for good."
Sung to and by a friend. Not always your best influence but never your worst. If that friend is a true one, then their effect on you will be permanent, as they have become intertwined within your being and in you soul- never to be the same. You are changed for good.

At the onset of the play we read that the part of Elphaba, the Witch of the West, was to be played by the *stand-by, so I prepared for something less then the 'possible best' the show had to offer. I was mistaken. The performance of Merideth Kaye Clark was fantastic and the feeling that I was going to be subjected to a lesser one, was gone within the first 10 minutes. As to why Donna Vivino (the scheduled lead for Elphaba) was not on stage tonight, I can not say. Maybe she is still on vacation (that was to end on Feb 28th) or possibly ill. In the end it did not matter, the production was outstanding. Funny. Sad. Heartwarming and surprising - all in all, I truly had a wicked evening.

It was a Elphaba said: "It's just... for the first time... I feel... wicked."

* Stand-by is usually NOT in the show but literally stands by the theater and will go on should the actor who's role they cover calls in. They need to be in a certain radius of the theater for every show.