I finally had the chance to catch "Wicked's" run here in Manila. Filipinos with no chance of flying to Broadway or Singapore waited ten years to be Galindafied. Finally it's here and it's worth all the wait!
To be honest, I was not as excited as I was when we were about to watch the Phantom of the Opera's run in Manila two years ago. I was not a fan of "Wicked." My friend said it's for the shallow reason that Fiyero actually loves Elphaba and acted on it and that in the end they managed to find a way to be together, which obviously went astray with my obsession for unrequited love plot. And he is probably right because, well, let's face it, "Phantom" is my lifestory. But after watching "Wicked" for the first time, I guess you can call me "converted." And yes I was officially Galindafied (toss, toss...waves).
I remember how the producers then promised the Filipino fans that we will get to see exactly what the audience in Broadway and West End have been enjoying. From what I've seen in pictures and videos from New York and London, I think they managed to fulfill that promise.
I don't know if it's a good thing or what that the actresses playing Elphaba and Galinda looked and sounded like Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, but nevertheless they were both amazing. Steve Danielsen as Fiyero was also amazing not to mention how tragically handsome he is (those blue eyes and buttle butt are to die for). I was able to get a glimpse of him at the backstage, but too bad I didn't get the chance to have a picture taken with him.
Anyway, before I totally digress, with the successful runs of "Cats", "Phantom", and now "Wicked", I am hoping that more musicals like this would find their way to the Philippines. But to backtrack previous interviews, the producers admitted how bringing in these epic shows were definitely not a walk in the yellow brick road. The "Phantom" was already hard enough but "Wicked" is way harder.
They had to to ship 24 40 containers carrying lights, sets, props and costumes. Head electrician L'arge Wilson said so himself that "Wicked" has one of the biggest lighting rigs with 360 fixtures, 96 moving lights, LED, sidelights etc. Then there's Glinda's 25 kilo bubble dress, over 300 Tony Award-winning costumes, and of course, the casts and crew. Also they had to make some tweaking of the Tanghalang Nicanor to make it "Oz ready". All these to fulfill a promise to Filipino fans who a year ago or something started a petition online, desperate to convince the producers, to stage what can be considered as the musical of our generation.
Quite the opposite after watching "Phantom" where I was sobbing shamelessly during the final curtain call, with "Wicked" my jaw literally dropped in awe. Indeed, the word "magical" says it all. Loud cheers and standing ovation greeted the actors. At the theater's lobby, fans are buying souvenirs left and right. All the way outside people can't stop talking and singing about the show.
After soaking up the Oz-someness of it all, you're left with only one feeling: you want more. And while I made a mental note of pulling every string I can to watch the final show, the question now is what's next? For now, if you love theater especially musicals and you're not able to catch "Wicked", you should be green with envy (toss, toss...waves).