After my group of friends had such a good time going to see Something Rotten, we looked at the 2017-2018 theatre series and decided to see Wicked. Like Rent, I had been excited about the show when it first came out, but hadn't gotten around to seeing it. I worried that yesterday's experience of seeing Wicked might disappoint me in the same way that Rent did, but I needn't have worried. Yesterday's show restored my faith in theatre--or more accurately, renewed my faith in theatre, since I never really lost that faith.
I had been feeling grumpy about going. We've gotten a bit overextended in our social engagements, as we are wont to do in our attempt to avoid becoming recluses, and part of me just wanted to laze about the house. It's the height of the tourist season and traffic in Ft. Lauderdale has becoming maddening. There were many reasons I felt whiney.
But we paid big bucks (for us) for the tickets, and we didn't really have a valid reason for not going, so off we went. I sat down in the theatre, saw the elaborate set with the dragon at the top of the stage, and I said, "Ah, yes, I remember why we do this."
The show is completely sold out, as is Hamilton, which will come in December. We talked about whether or not we could ever afford Hamilton, as the tickets start at $200. But if we started saving now, that would only be $20 a month, I pointed out. We agreed it would be worth it--but we likely won't be able to get tickets--although, who knows?
I am so happy that people are still going to theatre, although I realize that the success of the blockbuster shows means that some of the more avant garde shows won't be produced or if they're produced, they won't be seen by many. But that's always been the case. I do think that the blockbuster show is a great way to introduce people to the concept of theatre. I do think it's like the blockbuster book, keeping the publishing industry afloat for all of us.
I loved the set--thrilling! The costumes were gorgeous, and I was impressed with how they took the sprawling book and made a manageable plot. I didn't remember much of the book--it's been almost 20 years since I read it--but I did remember its scope.
I was glad that the music wasn't overwhelming in terms of what I've come to call full-throated singing, the kind of belting out of a song that makes me want to plug my ears. Yesterday's music was not that way--in fact, I often had some trouble making out the lyrics (my complaint with Rent). I did find my eyes going to the Open Captioning, which helped.
Note to self: when going to see these shows, get the recording in advance.
I loved the ways that the show used the movie and the books as reference points--so inventive! I loved the various twists. I loved the how exhilarated the show made me feel.
I hadn't realized how many groupies the show has. It was clear that some of the audience came to the show as one might come to a religious experience. And by the end, I had a bit of understanding of that.
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