My son and I took a mother-son trip to New York as an early birthday present for him. He really wanted to go to BroadwayCon and we made plans to do so. In the midst of going, I figured, what better way to honor his early birthday than to surprise him with tickets to Wicked on Broadway.
Now if you’re anything like me you didn’t understand the difference between Broadway shows and shows playing on Broadway. As in the shows currently running in hundred-year-old theatres on Broadway Ave in New York.
So I carefully planned our trip to see Wicked. I waited to do tickets for Sunday evening, simply because the high of BroadwayCon would overshadow his first experience in an actual theatre on Broadway. This was probably the best thing I could have ever done. We walked from our hotel in Times Square two blocks down to the Gershwin Theatre. It was seriously like being in a movie, walking down Broadway to and seeing all the marquee’s lighting our path. We came in and from the moment we walked through the doors we are transformed into the Broadway experience.
After going upstairs we were immediately greeted by Wicked Gifts! You know all the Wicked things to make this Wicked affair even better (sweatshirts, jogging suits, memorabilia and of course hats). My son collects baseball caps. I’ve lost count how many hats he has but it’s a lot of them! He immediately jumped at getting his Wicked hat to wear post-show (a little tradition we started when seeing touring shows in Atlanta).
As an 80s kid, I am a lover of the Wizard of Oz and I love the remake of the Live Action Wiz, but the original Wiz scared me as a kid (those people hatching were scary…still are). So I was vaguely familiar with the show, but not really. I knew Wicked was about the Wicked witch but man o man was I in for a surprise.
First things first. I had no idea the wicked witches had names! My mind was racing as my brain began to recall one of my favorite movies as a kid. The whole connecting the dots thing that kept happening was crazy for me. I spent the entire show going “OMG that’s what that was. Oh wow, that’s how that happened.” You get the point. I was like a little kid discovering Oz for the very first time.
Wicked absolutely transports you into the wonderful world of Oz. But once you see the story it raises the question How Wonderful was Oz really? Wicked explores what I consider real-world problems in a made up story. From bullying to understanding inner beauty and exploring all the emotions and feelings that come with being a teenaged girl. After sitting through act one and then listening to the words of Defying Gravity, I’ll admit my face was wet. This show had me all in my feelings.
The character of Elphaba, played by Jackie Burns, was delivered in such a heart clinching, yet phenominal, in a way I could not take my eyes off her. Granted she was green, but her greenness represents so much more. If we really explore this character, Elphaba had to wear her transgressions of being the child of an affair outwardly. She was labelled by the sins of her parents and had to overcome a world of prejudice that she was born into. This entire storyline tugged at my heartstrings and the musical scores rang in my ears for days to come. Jackie Burns and Amanda Jane Cooper (Glenda) sang for their lives. As a mom of a Broadway hopeful, I’m sad the beltbox didn’t exist when these ladies were growing up. I salute their parents for withstanding their musical talents. This entire cast, including the ensemble, sang their faces off during this show and I could not have been more excited to share this experience with my son.
As one of the longest-running shows in a Broadway theatre, it’s safe to say if you are travelling to New York going to see Wicked absolutely needs to be on your to-do list. You can grab your tickets here.