I have to confess: I still haven’t seen Wicked, despite having lived in New York for all of its run. So I can’t give as full and deep a treatment of this as I probably should. That’s sort of OK, since I’m not the conductor on this one for the Columbia Summer Winds 2011 season – that would be my good friend Bill Tonissen.
Here’s what I do know about Wicked, based on being around it for almost 8 years (and a little internet research): it’s a Broadway musical based on a novel of the same name (by Gregory Maguire) that imagines the story of The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. It gives her a sympathetic backstory and a name (Elphaba). I also know that Wicked is hugely successful, having run on Broadway since 2003, and with no signs of closing. The music (by Stephen Schwartz) seems to be everywhere – I have several friends who claim it among their favorites.
Jay Bocook uses several of the highlights from the musical to piece together his 9-minute Selections. Here they are, as played by a Hawaiian band:
Now, some original Wicked action – “Defying Gravity” at the Tonys with the original cast members: