Feb 18, 2014

In Emerald City

Some days are so magical, it changes you for good.

Broadway was one of those famous places I dreamed to visit in person and watch a real musical play in. While I will never probably get around to being an actor, I love to reenact scenes and sing the songs just the ways the actors did it whether in filmed or live performances. Wicked was one musical that has yet to have a recorded version so all I ever had to work with was the soundtrack and a few videos. Even then, the musical had captured my heart and I longed to watch Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth. Unfortunately, when I first went to the US back in 2004, I didn't go to New York so I missed out then.

This year, however and wonderfully, the international musical sensation has FINALLY graced the Philippine shores! And thanks to my dearest darling mumsie and popsicle, I finally had the opportunity to watch Wicked last February 13. The show was absolutely breathtaking. The performance numbers, the set, the costumes and everything was just amaaaazing! A perfect "Valentine's" gift worth remembering.

This season was performed by the Australian cast as they toured around Asia. Jemma Rix stars as Elphaba, who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, and Suzie Mathers as Galinda/Glinda who is famously known as the Good Witch. They're not the original Broadway cast but they performed just as spectacularly. Jemma and Suzie had beautiful voices and they were delightful as Elphaba and Glinda. Although Idina Menzel will always be the Elphaba original and only, Jemma performed "Defying Gravity" powerfully. When I met her and Suzie after the show, they were also just as warm and friendly. I wish I could've gotten them to sign all the other pictures in my programme.

Of course, I also met the rest of the cast. Emily Cascarino played Elphaba's sister, Nessarose, while Steve Danielsen played Fiyero, love interest to both Elphaba and Glinda. They also had great voices. I especially loved Fiyero's "Dancing Through Life" number, which had one of the more beautiful sets as it was staged as a magical ball.

The friendly Edward Grey stars as the fumbling Boq while Jay Laga'aia charmed as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I missed meeting Ms. Maggie Kirkpatrick because she seemed too tired and merely nodded a smile towards us as she quickly passed by. I did notice that of all the cast, she was the only one who didn't seem like she wasn't really singing. She was more speaking than actually singing. I wondered at the time why.

My favorite scene is still "One Short Day" where Elphaba and Glinda travel to Emerald City. The ensemble performance was amazing. They had strong voices and delightful outfits. The rest of the Ozians' costumes were also fascinating, with styles that ranged from chunky steampunk outfits to mismatched striped suits. It's also interesting to note that each one of the ensemble cast had a unique outfit, their own individual mismatching stripes and outlandish hairstyles.

I wanted to meet the rest of the ensemble but I didn't know who was who between the staff and crew. I did get to meet Mitch Fistrovic only because he was initiated greeting us fans when he went out. Of course, I got his autograph too. After I told him I didn't know who he was..hahaha lol. But he was nice enough to introduce himself anyway!

After one short day in Emerald City, I did have a lifetime of fun. I hope I can travel back down the yellow brick road again someday.

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