Finally! After more than five months of waiting, Maggie and I got to experience one short day in the Emerald City with Elphaba and Galinda yesterday.
Yes, we purchased our tickets last year, a couple of weeks before my birthday (I used the occasion as an excuse to shell out Php6,500 heeee). That’s how excited we were to see the Broadway musical Wicked. Arriving at the venue an hour earlier, we walked around and checked out the souvenirs, took some photos, and tried to contain our excitement for the two and a half hour wonderfully wicked show ahead.
We wanted the experience to be unforgettable, so we bought orchestra center tickets, as in we were seated right smack in the middle of CCP’s main theater, a few feet from the stage where the fantastic cast and crew of the play worked their magic.
It was indeed wonderful, amazing, excellent! I am running out of adjectives now as I try to describe the feeling, especially upon hearing the opening song, “No One Mourns the Wicked.” I felt goosebumps crawl all over my body and they never left up until the spellbinding end of the first act, seeing Elphaba up in the air while singing “Defying Gravity.” No exaggeration here, but I was teary eyed as Maggie (she was frozen in a wide smile all throughout the play) and I exclaimed how great the actors were.
Jemma Rix (Elphaba) and Suzie Mathers (Galinda) were equally talented and acted out their characters superbly. Jemma portrayed the green wicked witch Elphie, and the way she acted out her role as an outcast but humble and smart sister to Nessa Rose was just astounding. The perky and popular Galinda played by Suzie was truly a joy to watch. She was irritatingly adorable (if you know what I mean) and exuded confidence, at the same time vulnerability, and it made the audience love her despite of her scheming and bitching around. And let’s not forget the “genuinely self-absorbed and deeply shallow” Fiyero, Galinda and Elphie’s love interest, played by the dashing Steve Danielsen. The rest of the cast were all prodigious, being able to depict different roles whether as schoolmates of Galinda and Elphaba or as Ozians.
It took every ounce of self-control to stop myself from singing along with Galinda and Elphie and Nessa Rose and Fiyero during the play. Okay, I admit, a couple of times I was lip synching. I can’t help it! My mouth was hanging open almost the entire duration of Wicked, transitioning from a big smile to a frown or whatever emotion the scene induced. Every song played in my mind as a character belted it out, and for a moment I cannot believe that I was watching it live, with actors in colorful costumes dancing in front of constantly and unbelievably fast changing sets and backdrops (oh and with the orchestra right under the stage).
By the end of the show, all I could muster to say was Sobrang galing, grabe, it was worth every centavo. Gusto kong ulitin! The curtain call was met with a deafening applause, cheers, and a standing ovation from the impressed audience. I’m pretty sure with or without theater background or any clue about the story of Wicked, people enjoyed and appreciated the remarkable performance of the cast and crew.
Every run of the critically-acclaimed musical should definitely make its composer Stephen Schwartz proud of his work. Because I am still feeling giddy after seeing Wicked, my iPod is on repeat, with the entire album recorded by the original cast members of the play in Broadway.
Wicked is something that you wouldn’t want to miss, so go to wickedthemusical.com.ph now and book your tickets. You have until March 9 to defy gravity with Galinda and Elphie!