Went to Wicked last Friday for the second time. I absolutely loved it again, and have the music on repeat on my itunes. I’ve been thinking about what I find so gripping about the show. So forgive me if I ramble through a couple of plot lines.
Take the starting point — a girl born green. Or born different. For me, green = tall. Tall enough that people stare and ask about basketball.
Or the plot line where there’s a friendship that is laced with competition. The feeling of a friend growing close, then seeing ambition or different ideas come in between those two people. From loathing, to best friends, to “I hope you’re happy,” to “because I knew you — I have been changed for the good.”
Even the less important plot lines have their subtle strength. From “I’m not that girl,” to “As long as you’re mine” — the love story is about people who “look at things different.” It’s not cookie-cutter hollywood stuff, with the two best looking people or love at first sight. It’s complicated, and how about that sarcastic line: “Now wait just a clock tick! I know it may be difficult for that blissful, blonde brain of yours to comprehend that someone like him could actually choose someone like me! But it’s happened… it’s real.”
“No good deed goes unpunished,” is another line that grabs me. At times, I can’t help but think that’s true in today’s world. The idea that those doing the best things are punished for it (or at a minimum, not paid very well), combined with the vague feeling of not being rewarded for doing the right thing, that’s gripping.
Of course, in Wicked, it goes further than that — Elphaba is actually demonized for doing good. I’ll admit, studying policy, and being on the edge of the politics fray, the possibility of demonization is enough to give me shivers — a reminder that “no one mourns the wicked” is as much a judgement as a warning.