There is good in Baltimore. There is culture and positivity. While that clearly has not been the focus the past week, it’s important people know that it does exist here. And while I’m not a Baltimore native, I hate for only the negativity to be highlighted when speaking about the city. So…
I was pretty sure I was the last person on the eastern seaboard who hadn’t seen the play Wicked. Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, when I saw that it was here in Bmore at the historic and restored Hippodrome, I had to take action. Years ago, I tried reading the book and got to about page 20 and gave up. However, I heard from friends and critics alike that the play was great and a must see–so I did.
In case you’re not familiar, Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Yes, it’s her side of the story and what a story it is. The tale of her parents marriage, how she was conceived, and ultimately how her father and society treated her because of her green skin is pretty tragic. She goes through a period where she is somewhat accepted by her peers at college but due to her principles, beliefs, and fight against the oppression of talking animals, she once again becomes an outcast–this time for good. Not only was her background surprising, but so was her relationship with Glinda, as was her love interest.
The production overall was done really well. The sets were creative and often down-right pretty. The acting, singing, and comedic timing were essentially flawless. Admittedly, I was surprised that there was so much humor in the play, but it worked.
It’s impossible not to see some of the parallels between the Wicked Witch of the West and some of the citizens of Baltimore: the racism, oppression, discrimination, etc. Of course, in the play everything is resolved after final act–if only it were that easy in real life.
When all is said and done, I liked it and I’m glad I finally got to see it. I love The Wizard of Oz and whenever I catch it on tv, I always find myself watching. I didn’t love it like so many before me, but I would recommend it–especially if you’re a fan of the The Wizard of Oz. Much like the city of Baltimore–give it a chance.