Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wicked, Wicked Broadway



We scrambled down to the Gershwin theatre this afternoon to attempt to win the "Wicked lottery." About two hours before show time the theatre draws about ten names, and those lucky individuals who are drawn get to buy front row (!) tickets for a HEAVILY discounted price. It comes out to about $25 a ticket, which is probably about a tenth of the price others in those seats are paying.

So Krista and I put our names in and, wouldn't you know it? We won! My name was the next to last name called, so I happily traipsed up to the front of the line and pulled out ID and cash to buy our way to the best seats in the house.

I know some of you are probably concerned that the system was unfair or biased in some way so that I won, and not the hundred other people who had put their names into the pot. I don't think that's true. Although afterwards, it was like we had left behind Kansas and our old black and white lives and somehow stumbled into a world of vibrant color.

Here's a picture of me with all the winners of the Wicked lottery (we're on the left):

I have never had such great seats. I actually found the beginning of the show slightly frightening, as it seemed the actors could reach through the fourth wall and grab hold of me with no effort at all, and the flying monkeys were gibbering and leaping about.

The main actors, Julie Reiber and Kendra Kassenbaum performed beautifully. The entire cast, in fact, was amazing. The music, the sets, costumes, everything was great. I loved it. Krista and I had a great, great time.

I have some thoughts about the story overall, but I think I'll save that for another time just in case there is some Wicked-equivalent to Clay Aiken fans waiting to jump me. I'll just say that taking fantasy narratives and bringing moral sophistication rather than clear, black and white morality to them is difficult and I don't think the play quite pulled it off without raising a lot of questions. I imagine that if any of the good citizens of Oz saw this play they would say "conspiracy nut jobs." But we don't have to worry about that happening, anyway. That didn't (at all) diminish my enjoyment of the play. I laughed. I cried. I believed a monkey could fly. Krista liked it enough that she signed off on our children having Broadway careers.

Tomorrow... Mikalatos, Letterman and McCain, together in one room. TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR A COMPLETE REPORT. Until then, your BHR correspondent in NYC is signing off for the night.