Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wicked the Broadway Musical of Oz

This is me totally smitten with my new found lover.

Broadway Musical Theater.

You know how you hear people say, "I saw one show of theatre and totally fell in love with it!", well I totally understand that now. It's fortunate (or unfortunate) I never saw live broadway when I was younger, or I would have wanted to be a stage costume or set designer or stage light artist for sure!  

The first play I ever went to see, I was five years old, my dad was taking me and Roland in the evening to see 'Wizard of Oz' and we were walking from the fornt door to the driveway to get in the car. My brother then starts telling me how scary it will be, how the evil witch will be screaming and melting in a big pot with fire, and he starts jumping around me with his hands clawing and teeth bared, shrieking at me. He suceeded in frightening me so much, that I ran crying back to our house, banging on the front door in a panic for my mum to let me in so I wouldn't have to go watch the play.

I don't remember if I ever ended up seeing it or not that night, I do remember my dad being annoyed that I wouldn't hurry up and go along, and Roland thinking it was all very funny, and my mum telling both my dad and Roland off. And I remember the witch being a puddle of melted black on the floor, which is very unreal, so I think my five year old mind must have made that up and I'm pretty sure I didn't see the play at all.

So it is very befitting that the first live musical theatre I went to see now as a grown up, is Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz. And that the tickets were bought as a surprise for my mum and I, from Roland. Maybe it was to make up for me missing out on seeing that Wizard of Oz play, haha.

Everyone would have seen the delicious posters for Wicked right? And over the last few years I've become interested in classic movie musicals like An American in Paris, All that Jazz, Damn Yankees etc. I love anything with fancy costumes or that is hugely theatrical, so it defeats me as to why I haven't gone to see live theatre shows before.

So last week when my mum and I saw Wicked, we were blown away.

It was AMAZING!!!!

Oh my god, I have been missing out all this time!

All those live broadway shows, all that time in Melbourne I could have seen the Lion King broadway and who knows what else!

Now I know one is not supposed to take photos of the theatre/show, but I just HAD to. Don't you think flyers and promo stills of broadway shows never, ever capture the amazingness? The promo photos even look tacky. Maybe that's why I have never felt inclined to buy a ticket to one before.

So we arrived nice and early 30mins before, lots of time to get a pic of the stage and anticipation. There was a massive ye olde map of Oz with a cleverly shining, shimmering green light so that the castle of Oz looked like it was burining emerald. And note the huge Time Dragon that hovered over above us. There were sets of large custom wheels and cogs on either side, that were working mechanisms to wind the stage open by dancers costumed as the monkeys of Oz. The monkeys crept around stage as the lights dimmed and they moved creepily and sleathily, while the Time Dragon's eyes glowed and emitted a deep rumble, and the monkeys peering darkly out into the audience, finally latched onto the wheels and upper riggs and wound them. It was very, very eery and cool. 

The world of WIcked and the land of Oz it took place in was like Dr Suess come to life in one big spectacular dance. The kooky hats, the massive wigs, assymetrical skirts and buffont dresses, and waistcoats on goats, and stripey knickerbockers and suspenders, and pointy black shoes, and curly high heels, and the ensemble doing mutiple costume changes along with the set changes from the town square to college classroom to ballroom to emerald city.

And then the actors, wow their voices and singing volume, that's something else entirely! It's one thing to sit back in the cinema and enjoy great actors in character, but live singing, acting, and dancing! There's nothing between you and the actors moving and breathing.

It totally blew me away. The actors were loud, and there was no microphones or speakers. It's just them and us, it's almost intimate. Pure humour, theatrics, talent, their all that hard work. Nothing compares. Tickets to live broadway might be expensive ($130 for the better seats, and you MUST get the better seats central, or you'll ruin the experience) but I'd give up watching 10 movies to save up for a ticket to watch a broadway any day.

I am totally in love.


Ching Yee said...

What a coincidence, I went to my first one last Sunday too! A kind and generous friend bought me a ticket to see this:

It was fun but somehow I don't think it was quite as spectacular as Wicked.. :)

Rosey said...

That is a coincidence! Haha we continue to live pseudo-parallel lives huh?!