A Wicked 1st Anniversary

18 Jun

“For the first time in my life I feel…wicked!” -Elphie

Karl and I are both nuts about theatre arts and for quite some time now have been dying to watch the broadway musical “Wicked.” (I have to admit they’re doing a pretty damn good job of promoting the show by bombarding majority of the radio and tv stations with ads until the songs stick to your head.)  But we also wanted that moment to be really special and found the perfect excuse this month – our 1st anniversary!  (You know, because that’s what boyfriends and girlfriends do. Hehe.)  Since we both had to work last Wednesday, we settled on a Sunday date night and headed off to the Pantages Theatre a few hours after a delightful Father’s Day lunch with his Dad and the rest of his family. 

Traffic is a nuissance here so we tried to get there an hour early. There were already dozens of people hanging around the lobby checking out souvenirs and having refreshments. I was excited to the extent of getting a little teary-eyed with just the thought of being there and being with someone who could genuinely relate to all I was feeling. We dodged the fashionistas, the teeny boppers, grandparents, etc. to find the right spots for taking good photos of the theatre’s interiors. I got thirsty and decided to get a soda. I had to hold my breath though knowing that concessionaires always charge outrageous prices for food and drinks at events like this. I decided on a regular Coke for $6. Thankfully it came in a nice sippy cup with a green cover and Wicked logo imprint. I was glad to have another souvenir besides the playbill and tickets.

The root of my fondness with the fantasy story of the “Wizard of Oz” can always be traced back to my childhood. The first version ever released with Judy Garland playing Dorothy was one of my favorite films among all the VHS tapes Daddy brought home to us everytime he had a break from working in the Navy. How could any little girl not love it? I keenly remember the part where the screen changes from black and white to colored because Daddy would always say, “Magic!,” and my sister and I were led to believe it was actual magic from him when it was simply a visual transition of the setting from Kansas City to Munchkinland. Haha. Kids.

Perusing through books at Barnes and Noble and Borders, I’d often see many copies of the “Wicked” novel on the shelves. The more I saw it the more it sparked my curiousity. Noticing it was on sale one day, I purchased it. I took my time reading the book because it contained  vocabulary purposely invented by the author to give it a genuine flavor of fantasy, which made it a little unusual to read. I found the story amusing and have since then been dreaming of watching the musical.

I expected the musical to be exactly the same as the novel, but was tremendously caught by surprise! It was obvious that the writers put a great deal of effort condensing 538 pages of Gregory Maguire’s book. Another major observation of mine included how they made the musical more child-oriented, less evil and focused on the friendship between the good witch and the bad witch. Like the Wizard of Oz said, “Wich is WITCH?” Mwahaha. I was however disappointed that Dorothy Gale only made a cameo appearance as a shadow. I would have wanted to see more of her and at least hear her sing “Over the Rainbow.” Haha. But that would have been sidetracking the story. This time the witches were the stars of the show and my oh my did they rock the show! I was incredibly impressed by the backdrops, lighting, costumes, effects, songs and dances, and of course the performances of the lead roles. Truly well worth the 3 hours sitting on your bum. According to Neztle, our Filipina usherette, we could’ve see Rhianna and Chris Brown had we been there Saturday night! Lucky her she’s spotted several celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Tyra Banks and Nicolas Cage in the theatre since she started her job two months ago. She tried to hook us up in getting better seats in the mezzanine area, but Karl and I assured her we preferred where we were. How kind of her though. If I were asked to describe the musical in one word it would be: GRAND. If you’ve seen it, read the book. If you’ve read the book, go see it. If you’ve seen it, tell me what you think! 

One for me and one for Mom and Dad. Meanwhile, Karl’s got another one to add to his growing stack of previously viewed musicals. He is wickedly lucky! Haha.

The Pantages Theatre, which officially opened on June 4th 1930, is along Hollywood Boulevard.
Being his usual self Karl related some trivia about the Pantages Theatre telling me it’s been around for decades and pointing out the art deco interiors.

I wanted to get a souvenir shirt but the fabric and prints didn’t appeal to me considering  their over-the-top prices.

Neztle chatted with us in the lobby a few minutes before the show started. She’s from Ilocos. I have to say L.A. usherettes are more lenient compared to New Yorkers! They made me jump out of my seat once when they scolded someone during intermission for taking a picture inside the theatre.
Outside the theatre.
After the show there were hordes of people outside the theatre and we a difficult time trying to get this shot, but we spotted a young couple like us who had the same agenda in mind and returned each other the favor.  It was serendipitous how they were also waiting for someone to take their picture. Haha.

Happy 1 year to me and Karl. Much love and happiness. Yup, great happiness. And I wonder why I’m always smiling these days.


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