Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical based on a novel that runs parallel to film The Wizard of Oz (1939) which is based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Obviously, most people who are familiar with the concept of books and movies know about the magical land of Oz. That’s why even for people who lack culture like me, Wicked is something to be experienced and enjoyed. It is something familiar yet something excitingly new.
I saw Wicked over the weekend and it was amazing. If you’re on the fence about seeing it, let me try to help you make up your mind. Here are 5 reasons to see Wicked in Manila.
1. The Story Behind THE Story
I love the concept of looking at an established story from a different angle. It is fairly common in comics with main event books and their ancillary titles, so I’m pretty comfortable with this Oz story that focuses on the witches. It’s just so much fun when you recognize the various references to The Wizard of Oz. Also, I just might check out the book soon because based on what I saw in the musical, I’m expecting it to be seriously clever and entertaining.
2. CCP, yo.
I know it’s old and there’s a bunch of newer, cleaner, and more modern venues for musical theatre out there, but it’s the main theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, you guys. Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, yo. Every time I go to the CCP, I always get this overwhelming feeling of reverence for history and culture, not to mention a taste of class and sophistication that is extremely rare if you’re a regular Juan walking the regular streets of Manila on a regular day.
Classy shit, yo.
3. Here be dragons!
OK, there’s only one dragon and it’s not even part of the story — or maybe it is and I just missed it? — but THERE’S AN ANIMATRONIC DRAGON. I’m an easily amused fellow so if the first thing I see in a room is a dragon, my day is made.
Suzie Mathers, Wicked‘s Galinda (the “Guh” is silent), is adorable. Galinda definitely has the best one-liners and Ms. Mathers kills it in every scene. Her giggles are incredibly infectious and, just to reiterate, she is extremely adorable. Just take a look at this interview from Rappler (just don’t mind G Tongi who gives her best impression of a caricature of an interviewer):
5. Are we not entertained? Yes. Yes we are.
The last time I saw a musical at the CCP, it was Miss Saigon way back in 2000. Obviously, I’m nowhere near being an expert on musical. However, I am an expert on what entertains me and Wicked, ladies and gentlemen, entertained the hell out of me. I felt it in the cheering crowd, I felt it in the numerous gays singing along with the actors, I felt it in the laughter of men, women, and children. We all had fun and I could tell that the performers were having fun up there on the stage as well.
Wicked in Manila has been extended for the last time so its limited run now ends on March 9, 2014. I highly recommend you see it — if there are seats left. Toss toss hiiiieeerrrhsdfghsfh.