Wicked Witch of West casts spell on Dayton
Stephanie Vermillion – News Editor
February 22, 2010
Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Dayton anymore.
In fact, while the entire “Wicked” scenario made me feel like Dorothy in Oz, I think what impressed me the most was that while sitting in the Schuster Center only five minutes from campus, I felt I was back in New York City two years ago where I saw it on Broadway for the first time. This time around, it was just as good, if not better than before.
Now, I’m no musical guru. I can’t act out a scene without laughing and can’t afford to pay the window damages if I tried to sing.
However, one thing I realized when I saw it opening night is that “Wicked” is not just for the savvy artist. Actually, the story meets the needs of many college students’ ideas for entertainment.
Wicked is a spinoff of “The Wizard of Oz,” only this time the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, gets to tell her side of the story, in which she and Glinda the Good Witch of the South were actually past best friends, and the wizard was actually powerless and evil, trying to corrupt Oz. Elphaba was the one trying to save Oz, but since everyone believes the wise words of the wizard, she got a bad rap.
Elphaba’s two and a half hour clarification of the truth is not just for Broadway lovers. It actually has all the essentials to make a hit show on MTV or the ultimate romantic comedy.
The unpopular, green-skinned girl, Elphaba, and the popular, beautiful blonde girl, Glinda, are forced unwillingly to become roommates. After a few weeks, the two girls become best friends, and Glinda even gives Elphaba a makeover and the rundown on how to be a guy magnet. Think Rachael Leigh Cook in “She’s All That,” only with a bright green skin tone.
While friendship overcoming all odds is touching, we twenty-somethings need some drama. No fear: A rebellious, brainless hunk comes to town to stir things up. Not only does he provide eye candy for the audience, comparable to your favorite TV sitcom, but he also creates a love triangle between himself, Glinda and Elphaba. (“The Situation,” Sammi “Sweetheart” and Ronnie, anyone?)
On top of being green, subpar to Glinda and in love with Oz’s newest stud, Elphaba has major daddy issues. Her dad is governor of Munchkinland, but because she’s discolored and an embarrassment to the family, he doesn’t shower her with rappers, Hummers or $1000 dresses on her super sweet 16th birthday. Instead, he devotes all his attention to the younger sister, Nessarose, and makes sure Elphaba knows she is unwanted.
“Wicked” isn’t just for the drama lovers though. With flying, crazy monkeys, multiple fight scenes, a country-girl-gone-thief stealing ruby red shoes and murder via water bucket, those seeking action will be satisfied.
Combine this all-inclusive plot with music, set design, sound design, costume design and lighting all by Tony Award winners, and the experience is unforgettable. It has broken box office records in every city it has been shown in, and now Dayton residents, including UD students, are lucky enough to participate in what New York Times describes as “the defining musical of the decade.”
Whether your reason for going is to find out who gets booted out of the love triangle, the dirty secrets revealed about Elphaba’s father, why Elphaba is not so wicked after all or simply to engage yourself in the art of musicals, seeing a Broadway show of this magnitude without having to travel is affordable, exciting and an altogether wickedly awesome experience.
“Wicked” will be showing at the Schuster Center through March 7. For more information on tickets, go to http://www.ticketcenterstage.com.