In the end, Margaret and I took Spencer, Michelle and a friend, Maggie, who we go to the local Jazz Club with.
We were a little concerned with Spencer's reaction to the show - would it be overwhelming for him? At first that seemed a likely possibility as he was scared of the dragon that adorned the ceiling near the stage. Happily he enjoyed and watched most of the show.
Wicked, subtitled, The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, is based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire, though it departs significantly from the book. It is the backstory to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz from which the famous film was developed.
The publicity synopsis sets the scene:
Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years.
Many mysteries from the original are explained including:
* the origins of the cowardly lion, tinman and scarecrow
* the nature of the "Wicked Witch of the East" who was crushed by Dorothy's house
* where Dorothy's red shoes came from
* the origin of the whinged monkeys
* why the "Wicked Witch of the West" was "melted" by water thrown by Dorothy (answer she wasn't)
and many more.
The video below is the trailer for the US tour, and includes comments from the song writer Stephen Schwartz, the American director and stars of the broadway show.
It was a very interesting plot, well acted with great costumes and staging. My main reservation is with the songs. None of them seemed particularly interesting during the show, they seemed fairly regulation songs from a musical, with little to "grab you by the throat".
For instance, watch Defying Gravity below ...
... wonderfully theatrical, but really not much of a song.
Or try Popular ...
... more musical, and an interesting song in the show but still it is never going to be a song we will remember years from now.
It was still a great show and we all enjoyed the experience.