Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wicked, amazing but too sugestive

Yesterday, I saw Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theater.

Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical launched in 2003. It was based on the novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" by Gregory Maguire in 1995.

This story describes a back story of Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a classic fairy tale, focusing on the relationship between Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba was not given the name in the original story of Oz.

Since I guess most of you know the story of Oz, I dare not to describe it in detail. In "Wicked", Elphaba was born with green skin, which led her being teased. Her younger sister, Nessarose, had crippled legs from birth. (In the original novel, she had no arms, according the Wiki. To be honest, I had not read the novel.) Why they had a challenge is explained in the play.

Glinda and Elphaba were classmates in a college. At first, they disliked each other. But Glinda was impressed by the sincerity of Elphaba, and they gradually got closed.

Elphaba had an extraordinary talent of sorcery. Finding it, Madame Morrible, a teacher of the college (and perhaps the Good Witch of the North?) commended her to visit the Wizard of Oz. Elphaba was delightful to meet the Wizard. However, what she knew at the castle of Oz was far from her imagination. She was completely disappointed, to decide to fight against the Wizard.

In this plot, several tricks behind the world of Oz were revealed. The audience is repeatedly notified  that what they have believed is not the truth. In the play, Elphaba is no more evil, and you will see something vicious in Glinda. The origin of Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Coward Lion are also described.

The author aimed to pose a question against the concept of justice. Iraq war might influence him. In Wicked, the story of Oz in which the good defeat the Evil is completely reversed.

With the point of view of social context, there are many essences in this story. Elphaba was discriminated for her skin color. The congenital abnormality of the sisters is a metaphor of environmental pollution. In the story, animals were got rid of their verbal ability by a certain force. It resembles the slavery and colonization.

Tasting such various elements of enlightenment may, however, interfere the joyfulness of this work. I recommend you rather simply to enjoy the excellent story bridging the original Oz and hidden episodes.

The music was good, and the two heroines were quite charming. By the way, I was surprised the young Glinda was so just like a girl that is stereotypical in comics for girls in Japan. Such a rich and haughty girl may be seen in everywhere.

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