Front row, center, baby. That's where I had the privilege of sitting during Tuesday night's performance of Wicked at Chicago's Oriental Theatre. Wicked is currently one of the most popular theatrical events in the United States. The musical is based on the popular 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." The musical is essentially an extension of the Wizard of Oz narrative that re-examines the ethical positions of the two witches in the original story. Below is a brief synopsis:
Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years.
I have wanted to see Wicked for years. Every show is usually sold out, and it's very difficult and expensive to find tickets. Each time I go to Chicago I enter the day-of-performance drawing for $25 seats in the front two rows. So, per usual, on Tuesday morning, I walked to the Oriental theater to enter my name in the drawing. Karen walked over during her conference's lunch break to enter her name. Then we came back at 5:30pm for the drawing. I expected dissapointment as always, but amazingly, and finally, I was the third name drawn, securing two front row seats for the 7:30pm show.
I loved the show. It was even better than I had hoped for. It was funny and heartwarming, and the acting, singing, and set were superb. But I am now paying the price of exhaustion, after having arrived back in Madison at 2 p.m. that morning, and then heading into both jobs yesterday. Ouch. But it was well worth it!