So last night I think I ceased being the last person who had not yet seen “Wicked”. Performing at the Kennedy Center, a friend and I joined the throngs of tweens and devotees for last night’s show. We were seated in the orchestra section near the front for an excellent view of the stage – in what I call the “seating for people with jobs or very generous parents section”. Although one of the great things about returning the arts in Exotic America, and especially to the Kennedy Center, is that nearly every seat of the house has a good view (how democratic). The bad thing is that no matter the section, there is no such thing as a cheap ticket (how capitalist).
The show was over-acted in a classic Broadway fashion, with those in the chorus essentially staging their own one-man (one-woman) productions of their version of “background emerald city citizen #3” and hammy jokes with long pauses but they’re still crowd-pleasers. The show was still a delight, and incorporates production surprises throughout, and just like any tween romance plot worth it’s salt, you can’t help but root for the outcast and the popular guy (because after all, who hasn’t felt like an outcast at some point tween or not?). The sets and costumes were beautiful (even if they did channel some of those weird industrial looks from that random musical bette middler’s character played in the beaches movie). Overall, any way you cut it, there’s just something about that Defying Gravity song – and something about the concept that there was more to the story than just the Wicked Witch melting away – that’s quite catchy.
Wicked is playing through August 21.
Photos from various Washington sources.