Monday, 22 July 2019

The emotion it was electric, and the stars they all aligned

I ended up breaking my self imposed 'no theatre until NYC' rule and went to see Wicked on Saturday as several members of the cast were leaving. I wasn't originally going to go to their final show, but decided last minute that I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by and bought a ticket literally the day before.

I've grown really attached to this cast, and have seen them 6 times in total over the past 10 months. They're the cast I've seen whilst I truly fell in love with Wicked, and a lot of their portrayals are no doubt tangled up in my own interpretations of the characters themselves. Wicked and the world of Oz in general have really helped me to find my way out of a dark spot and rediscover myself and my interests, and this cast has been a big part of that journey. Back in September of last year I'd been reveling in the Wicked OBC and L Frank Baum's original novels, and although I'd seen Wicked 8 years before, back then I wasn't really a fan of it and couldn't remember much. I hadn't been to the theatre in years when I decided to go again and it felt like finding my way home. And it was this cast, and I can't thank them enough. Wicked is something that came into my life just when I needed it most, and this cast change feels almost like the end of a chapter. Not of Wicked of course, I can't imagine that, but I guess of that period of my life and the changes that are about to come.

As my booking was so last minute there weren't many seats left to choose from, so I was sat further back in the stalls than usual but it was quite nice actually. I definitely prefer being up near the front, it's just so immersive you completely forget about everyone else in the theatre and there are so many small details you just can't see further back. People kept going to the toilet and the ushers were wandering round and it was all a bit distracting this time, but I liked that I got to fully appreciate details in the set and lighting design that I usually don't notice from up close. Like the Time Dragon, I never realised that he moved so much throughout the show, I was only aware of him being used at the beginning of each act before. And a lot of things were clearer from further away, like the tornado and Dorothy's house flying past, details I was aware of but are much blurrier up close and make much more sense from a distance.

The best part of it though was definitely the atmosphere from the audience. We're generally a bit reserved in this country so I wasn't expecting much, but people were really wooping and there was thunderous applause at the end of basically every song and for Glinda and Elphaba's entrances. It really made it special and I was so glad to be there and get to experience it all first hand, it was definitely a show like no other. They also gave speeches at the end, and it was difficult not to tear up along with them, it was all just really emotional.

I was hoping to stage door and took my programme and a Sharpie with me for the occasion. I've never stage doored before due to anxiety so I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really glad I did it. It was crazy busy as everyone had the same idea, and I was second row back so didn't want to bother too many people asking for photos as it was difficult. Sophie (Glinda) was kind enough to take one high enough to get me in it, and by the time Alice (Elphaba) came along people were leaving after they'd met her so it spaced out a little and I was able to get a nice shot. And it wasn't anywhere as awkward as I'd feared, it was literally just saying hello, asking to sign, I loved your performance, thank you, etc, it was so fast paced there wasn't even time for much else. So if like me you've always been too scared, don't be, there's honestly nothing to it and everyone was so lovely!

I'm so glad I made the last minute decision to go and didn't miss this experience! And the next time I see Wicked will be at the Gershwin Theatre in New York where the show first opened, which just feels so surreal to me right now!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, how very exciting for you.

    When I read the part where you wrote about things being clearer from further away, I thought that can perfectly apply to life as well. I think it's great how you can reflect on your life and see how various things (such as this musical) have helped you.

    Have fun in New York! X


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