Wicked

I saw the Broadway production of Wicked this past weekend.  It was very good.  An under study performed the part of Elphaba, the wicked witch, and she was superb….

The cast, the costumes, the sets, the songs – all fantastic.  The story itself departs in quite a dramatic way from Maguire’s book, but I suppose his style of loose-ends and complex, multi-dimensional anti-heroes works better in novel-form than on the stage.  The musical is ultimately meant to be fun, and though I love the book and its sequels, they are not really very “fun” books, however snarky and blackly funny they may be.

I want to write more about the books and will in subsequent posts and after I re-read Wicked.  I just finished A Lion Among Men, and like Son of a Witch before it, it contains a very strong decentralist message that I think would be interesting to dissect further.

Read the books if you haven’t, and certainly if you get the chance, go see the show.

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6 thoughts on “Wicked

  1. In the books there is this traveling Time Dragon Clock that plays a fairly important, if cryptic, role. It was just window dressing in the play. Read the book, I’d say. It’s really an entirely different story from the play.

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  2. Loved the play but truth be told despised the book. I had no objection with the message, concept or content. Rather I absolutely loathed Maguire’s hobby of skipping wholesale what would be some of the most interesting scenes. Example: The complete skipping of the Ephelba’s attempts to rescue Fiaro’s family. It goes from her resolving to attempt to do so and then hops straight past it to observing that she failed. I don’t know if he does this (repeatedly!) in an attempt to control the length of his book or if he’s just being cruel/lazy but it was infuriating!

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    • He’s very….unconventional. It’s infuriating at times, to be sure, but it’s also kind of nice. I like that he sort of throws out all the expected tricks and just tells it in his own very unique way.

      One thing that’s important to realize, I suppose, is that he never really does “action.” In all three books there’s always these very big “action” backdrops: the rebellious witch; the looming war with secessionist Munchinland; dragons…. But he refuses to actually go into any of it in real-time detail in the stories (except for in small doses). I think his focus is pretty much always on the internal struggle within his characters and so he sticks much more closely to that.

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      • Ah yes I see. That makes sense and it’s a good point. But it does promote a certain feeling of impotence to the characters. By eliminating the action sequences it really gives his characters a feeling of being swept along uncontrollably by the narrative regardless of their own actions (I felt this especially keenly in Wicked).

        But I did love the musical.

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