A Wicked Experience

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     Chills raced up my legs and my jaw dropped as Elphaba (Talia Suskauer) rose from the stage and belted out, “Bring me down!” in Defying Gravity. I’ve gotten chills only a handful of times, one of which being in the final battle of Endgame, so this was a very good sign. The crowd erupted in applause. Then the lights came on, signaling the end of Act I and the beginning of intermission. 

     It was Christmas Eve and my parents had offered to take me to see Wicked as part of my Christmas. This would be the first time for me and a second for my parents. We had gotten the tickets several months prior and I was so excited. I had pretty much already figured out all the reveals and overall plot just by listening to the soundtrack (excessively if I’m being honest).

     My mom and I even made sure to have something green to wear in tribute to the famed Emerald City and the witch herself. My dad also got me opera glasses “to complete the experience”. I went as far as to wear my red shoes from my freshman year homecoming as ruby slippers.

     Another part of the gift was going out to lunch at Triumph; a popular upscale restaurant in downtown St.Louis. One of the most unique aspects of Triumph of its theme centering around motorcycles. It’s even possible to buy motorcycles in house. I had the house-breaded chicken tenders (which if you’ve had, you can easily tell the difference from that and non) with fries and honey mustard (which was excellent). Not the most upscale thing on the menu, but good nonetheless. 

     Afterward, we headed for the Fabulous Fox Theatre. I had been to the Fox prior to Wicked, having seen The Lion King and Alton Brown. It was just as beautiful and ornate as I remembered it to be, except with some holiday flare. It’s the kind of beautiful that you can’t help but look straight up and even spin around to see everything. The kind that your neck might hurt from doing so, but you can’t stop looking. We stopped at the concession stand and purchased a Wicked shirt and a mug (both can be seen in the photo gallery). 

     We started making our way to our seats, taking a picture at the Fox Tree on our way. When we entered the theatre, my eyes must have widened to the size of saucers. The stage was too cool. It featured a dragon and the map of Oz (which I can’t share as it’s copyrighted). While we were waiting for the show to begin, we chatted with one of the workers. She was an older woman and very sweet.

“The theatre is modeled after a sultan’s tent. The giant ball represents the sun,” the worker said.

     When the lights dimmed, I gasped as the dragon began to move and the stage came alive. I was immediately sucked into the story, completely enraptured. The costumes, the music, all of it. I won’t go into too much detail about the story line, in case my readers wish to see it. 

     Wicked is the story of Elphaba prior to her becoming the Wicked Witch of the West. The story fits in perfectly with that of The Wizard of Oz, which is very nice to discover, and even overlaps with it. You will meet all of the beloved The Wizard of Oz characters before the arrival of Dorothy. You will discover the twisted web that lies beneath the surface of The Wizard of Oz along with a few surprises along the way that will make you say, “OH WOW!” 

     It was a truly wicked experience and I enjoyed every minute. I hope you get to one day join us in the wonderful land of Oz. Until then.