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Ten Reasons Why Wicked Is the Most Enjoyable Musical of All-Time
With music from West Side Story. “Phantom of the Opera” has a romance. Jersey Boys is nostalgic. But Wicked is fun.
Wicked is currently the most enjoyable Broadway musical of all time. It earned this title despite its slight flaws. As a self-proclaimed theater geek, I have to admit that if I were to list my ten favorite musicals, Wicked’s wouldn’t make it.
Yes, Wicked’s music is slightly above average.
However, if I had to make a list of ten musicals I wanted to see again or for the first time, Wicked would be number one.
My thesis is proofed 52 times a year. Nearly every week, Wicked is Broadway’s top-grossing production, regularly breaking the $1.5 million mark. Not bad for a show that opened on Broadway in October 2003.
Below are ten reasons why Wicked is the most enjoyable musical of all time. Is that an exaggeration? If you haven’t seen the show, here it is. Fortunately, Wicked fans can not only see the musical at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway, but also through the National Touring Company.
1. The relationship between Elphaba and Glinda
Elphaba and Glinda’s unique relationship is quite refreshing. They are not only rivals but also best friends. Even though they are fictional witches, their relationship is more honest than in more realistic shows. Wherever you see evil, you will praise not one of the two witches, but both.
2. The Wizard of Oz Franchise
Long before the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises, the Wizard of Oz franchise captured our imaginations. Most of us know the story of The Wizard of Oz and The Wizard of Oz through the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. The film is based on the book published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. He went on to write 13 books about the Land of Oz. Wicked is based on a parallel novel by Gregory Maguire published in 1995.
3. Movie references
The musical makes several references to events in the film. Sometimes the musical extrapolates, other times it adds to the story. Sometimes the quotes are relevant to the plot, while other times the quotes are just for comedy. Spotting them only adds to the enjoyment of the show.
“Popular” is a cover of Wicked’s “Master of the House”. It’s a song you can’t get out of your head. Whether you’re listening to this song on iTunes or live in the theater, you’ll be humming its catchy tunes on your way home. A memorable tune appears in Act 1 when Glinda decides to fix Elphaba.
Wicked doesn’t have a single character that provides the comic relief. Every character is fun. Wicked doesn’t stop being funny when the second act begins. The show is fun from start to finish. Wicked doesn’t just rely on funny movie quotes. The show creates some really funny moments.
6. Talking animals
You must like talking animals. In Wicked you have Dr. Dillamond. Shiz is a talking goat who teaches history at the university. In fact, talking animals, or animals that have lost their ability to speak, are central to Wicked’s story. Although never spoken in the musical, the Cowardly Lion looks like a caged cub. This is Wicked’s only gratuitous use of cuteness.
7. Great names
Of course Tony and Marie are good names. Yes, Christine Daa is cool and Frankie Valli is cool, but nothing beats the names of the characters in Wicked. You’ve already met Elphaba and Glinda (she starts the movie as Galinda), but that’s only the tip of the witch’s hat. There’s Fiyero (The Scarecrow), Mrs. Morrible, Nassarosa, and Bock (Tin Woodman).
Kermit the Frog sang like it’s not easy being Green and green things will never suit The Incredible Hulk. However, despite their problems, we still love them. The same can be said for the green-skinned Elphaba. If you’re watching an off-Broadway show, don’t worry
9. “Defying Gravity”
“Defying Gravity” is the game-stopping moment that ends Season 1. If the hair on the back of your neck doesn’t stand up when Elphaba takes the stage, you should cancel your tickets to Wicked. The “Defying Gravity” number is one of the greatest musical theater moments of all time. If you’ve seen Wicked, either on Broadway or in another city, you’ll know that’s not an exaggeration.
Wicked isn’t the only “fun” musical on Broadway. “Rock of Ages,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Avenue Q” are great, but you probably wouldn’t put them in the same category as “West Side Story,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Jersey Boys.” Wicked is one of those elite musicals because in addition to the good times, the show is a serious drama with a strong message. This is a very entertaining and high quality production.
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