Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Fantastic Portrayal of Media at its Best - Wicked in Hollywood

The Pantages Theater in Hollywood played to a full house last night an outstanding production of "Wicked" the musical and I just can't say enough about it. Hands down it is the best show I've seen. The portrayal of Elphaba the wicked Witch of the West by Eden Espinosa was the best that it gets. Her vocals were unbelievably powerful as she transitioned each scene seemlessly by gradually morphing into the witch that we all loved to hate. Glinda the Good Witch played by Emily Rozek was top notch and by the end of the show, the crowd was brought to its feet in a much-deserved standing ovation.

The Elements
The players, wardrobe, makeup, set design, orchestral score and original compositions (among the favorites are "The Wizard and I", "Popular", "I'm Not That Girl", and Defying Gravity") were definitely what you expect from a big-ticket production and more. In addition to the perfect aesthetics (seamless set and wardrobe changes) and infectious harmonies, the one true element of "Wicked" that embeds itself into your brain forever - is its story.

Things Aren't Always What They Seem
Without giving away spoilers, the story revolves around a strong bond of friendship that outlasts time, love and even sorcery. It's the backstory to the the classic and what happened before Dorothy touched down in the land of Oz. The subplot however, seems to almost steal the spotlight as it strikes a serious chord with the audience. Dropping hints and reflecting today's life and times in addition to laying the groundwork for a glass ceiling, this airtight story builds on the notion of the true wizards of our time - the media, popular beliefs, the powers that be and spin doctors.

Think of it as "V for Vendetta" meets "Thelma and Louise". Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea. Their portrayal of the power of media and "giving people what they want" showcases a need for responsibility from those that have the power to influence others; to be held accountable for the material, ideas and beliefs that are given a megaphone and distributed to the masses.

"Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain"
On the other side to the coin, its also a wake-up call for us in the flock to be careful of the wolf in sheep's clothing. As Mel Gibson said in the documentary "Boffo - Tinsletown's Bomb and Blockbusters", "He with the biggest club wins." (in the sense of getting beat with the biggest club and he who belongs to the biggest club wins). Who can you believe? What can you believe? Isn't history, after all, written from whomever brought the material to the masses first? Oh, and by the way, thanks for reading this post. ;)

Overall, I highly recommend the experience of "Wicked" and its show-stopping, laugh-out-loud, tear-jerking numbers to anyone that has the chance to see it. I sincerely say that it's the best show I've seen. The entire backstory of the two Witches of Oz also is extremely smart, witty, thought provoking and most of all - great fun! You won't be disappointed. I know because the Wizard told me so.