I was excited from the moment I took my seat. We weren't supposed to take pictures during the performance, but I snuck in a couple pre-show photos. I loved looking over the rows and rows of theater-goers to the stage below. Although the blue dragon above the stage is a little "Disney," I thought it added to the ambiance, especially during the flying monkey scene.
The play begins with Glinda the Good Witch announcing the death of the Wicked Witch of the West and the citizens rejoicing. The colors in this scene are earthy, and the set is largely made up of old maps and large clocks. Then someone asks if the rumors that they used to be friends are true, and so starts the action. They move from school, where the set colors are fresh and preppy, to Oz, a shock of green.
Early on, critics either praised Wicked for being the best Broadway show to come around in a long time, or said the message was too obvious, the songs were too easy, and Glinda's performance outshone the Wicked Witch's. The themes may have been hammered into the audience a little too hard, but that's a difficult thing to avoid. Anyway, I was intrigued by the idea that a person (or witch) could be so widely perceived to be evil only because someone in power willed it to be and that the version of history that gets written down is the version that lasts, even if it's not true. I was also really touched by the story of two friends, whom I thought performed equally strongly in this version (though the male lead faltered a little).
After the performance, I was giddy, the way you feel when you've done something fun that you don't normally do; you've seen something lovely that you don't normally see; and the air is soft and warm.
If you haven't seen the play yet and it's coming to your area, I recommend you do.