Gemma @ 'Wicked' - definitely being incorporated into my subway playlist

What’s it about?

Retelling the story of The Wizard of Oz that we all know and love from the perspectives of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (Glinda the Good Witch).

Editor’s Note (Christine): If you wanna have a fun night, take a shot every time Gemma says, “Wicked”.

My experience.

Wicked was never a show that I minded not having seen. The few songs I knew, I wasn’t obsessed with (except for maybe Defying Gravity), and the singing voices of the actresses in the original Broadway cast recording struck me as too nasally.

Yes, I know I’m talking about Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, don’t throw 🗑️ at me 😨

And so, while I assumed I’d get around to seeing Wicked eventually, just for the sake of it, it wasn’t a priority. I mean, the show is so popular that it’s common knowledge it’s not going anywhere.

As it happened, the opportunity to attend a recent Sunday matinee of Wicked for FREE presented itself (Thanks, TDF and PXP!), and I instantly claimed my ticket. My expectations weren’t high, which wasn’t easy to admit, especially to most of my friends who regularly saw theatre and openly worshipped all things Wicked. Was something wrong with me? Was some part of me deep down refusing to jump on the Wicked bandwagon because everybody else liked it? Was it too mainstream for me? It was hard to say. But at least I was going to finally see the show in its entirety, which would presumably give me an answer.

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The view from my seat literally made my mouth drop. I was mere feet away from the stage. The set was large, sparkling map of Oz, over which hung a dragon. A DRAGON!

The character of Galinda (or Glinda) made me crack up. Everything she said had me laughing loudly enough that I felt a smidge of self-consciousness about the volume resonating from my mouth. But I wasn’t the only one, at least in my section. I was almost positive that I was sitting next to people who knew the actress playing Galinda/Glinda. Whenever I reacted naturally to something Galinda/Glinda said or sang, the lady next to me would turn to me, eyes gleaming with pride. Her responses to my genuine enjoyment would always make me laugh harder, but it became clear to me that she was there to support somebody she was close to, and I was all for it.

Part of me wanted to strike up a conversation with her during intermission. Just tap her on the shoulder and say, “Who is your friend in the show?” But I settled on eavesdropping in on her conversation. Here’s what I pieced together:

  • She and her friend were 100% there to celebrate, as evidenced by the fact that they willingly purchased overpriced Wicked cups full of equally overpriced white wine.

  • They were friends with the actress playing Galinda/Glinda, and discussed how proud they were of her performance.

Now. On to Ryan McCartan:

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He played Fiyero, and this was actually his Broadway debut. I was familiar with his other stuff, particularly his roles as JD in Heathers: The Musical and Brad Majors in the Fox musical television film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again. It was kind of funny, because I was recently in Midtown with my mom leaving the restaurant where we had just had dinner, and I saw Ryan McCartan! I knew it was him, and we totally made eye contact, and I knew he knew I knew it was him.

⚠️ Spoilers Alert…but tbh you probably already know, right?⚠️

The whole Fiyero/Elphaba romance that emerged was just about the cutest thing I had ever seen on stage. He loved her even though she was born green and had powers, and she loved him, even when he was magically changed into a scarecrow. #COUPLEGOALS

When I left the theatre, it really occurred to me how close-minded and kind of stuck up I had been regarding Wicked prior to seeing it. And when I got home later that night, I surprised myself by listening to the original Broadway cast recording for Wicked on Google Play Music. And you know what? I was feeling it.

I get what all the hype is about. Wicked might not be my favorite musical of all time, but its music is definitely being incorporated into my subway playlist.

See it?

Saw it?

Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.