March 10, 2012 – Saturday evening we had tickets for the traveling Broadway performance of ‘Wicked”, which was playing at ASU’s Gammage Theatre in Tempe.
We got all dressed up and enjoyed dinner at “Oregano’s”, a trendy little pizza place close to campus, then headed over to the show. (We took pictures at Oregano’s in front of these murals.)
‘Wicked’ is set in the Land of OZ before Dorothy’s arrival. This play explores the relationship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch (‘Wicked’ pictures are pulled from the internet….as cameras were not allowed).
Elphaba and Glinda go from school girl ‘loathing’…… I mean…who would want a roommate who is……..blonde…..to a deepening friendship which changes both “for the good”.
Elphaba, who just happens to have been born green, is a easy target for fear and ridicule. Though she desperately wants to be accepted, she will not trade her integrity for popularity. Glinda is shallow and self absorbed and stereotypically ‘blonde’. Glenda first rejects Elphaba, then, takes her on as her ‘pet project’; growing to admire Elphaba and finding a depth within herself along the way.
This play challenges our perceptions of ‘wickedness’ and ‘wonderful’. As the Wizard points out, history is just what people agree on. Are you a liberator or a tyrant? An invader or crusader? Wizard or con man? Wonderful or wicked? It is just a matter of perception…….or ‘spin’.
Woven into this play are themes…… of the pain of being different…..and how easy it is for us to make outcasts of those that we perceive as different. Of the cost of standing up for what you believe……and speaking the truth…..even though it will make you very unpopular….or even get you cast out and persecuted. Of the power of labels……
Throughout time, strong women have been persecuted and labeled…….as witches…..or _itches, for speaking their truth. And those who champion the cause of the less popular….often find themselves the target of hatred and fear.
Something to remember…….in this rather scary, present day, ultra conservative political climate. Women’s rights, gay rights….. equal rights…..seem to be sacrificed, as a smokescreen….a distraction…to keep us from focusing on the issues and “looking behind the curtain” and maybe seeing that the ‘wizards’ are not all-powerful, but only a con.
This was a wonderful play...great performance, fantastic costumes, amazing set! We had such a great time!