Wicked for Christmas Eve 2010

Back in 2006 when we first moved to Chicago, Wicked was in the middle of it’s three year run at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts or as I call it shortly, the Oriental Theatre.  It was amazing having that downtown on State and Randolph.  The green lights all under the marquee were a sight that could not be missed while walking down State.  

And we splurged once in our ‘days of poor’ after first moving from small town Texas to a large city.  We got the cheapest tickets waaay in the back of the theater.  And it was worth eating cruddier food for the week!  The show was amazing and magical just as I had hoped.  After promising ourselves we had to go back again, with better seats, it kept falling behind other shows that appeared and then *poof* Wicked had left Chicago.  

But one magical Christmas season, it decided to come back for a limited holiday engagement!  And here’s where we really dorked out….we already need Rock of Ages tickets as it was, and now these, so Val went the morning the tickets went on sale!  They gave away promo t-shirts to the first 50 purchasers and we scored one – which is a neat shirt since it’s specifically says “Chicago” on it and it’s not just the generic Wicked shirt.  Plus it’s bright green and awesome.

So Christmas Eve we were finally off to see the show – and like it usually does for Christmas in Chicago, the snow started falling and it was gorgeous.  

Outside the Cadillac Palace Theater

This time Wicked was in the Cadillac Palace Theater, which we had only been in once to see Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley. It’s yet another great venue in the Chicago Theater District.

As we do every show, we partook in our usually pre-show cocktails.  Although it is odd that you can bring food and drink inside theaters now. The set was about the same as it was in the Oriental Theatre, but a tad smaller.
Inside the Cadillac Palace 

With it being Christmas Eve there were loads of children and tourists in the theater.  But for this show I didn’t mind.  Throughout the show there were two dressed up little girls who kept sitting up out of their chairs, but you know…we’ve seen this show before.  And it’s Christmas.  Let them bob up and down out of excitement!

Wicked is a show I can listen to over and over again on my iPod and never get tired of it.  I have emotional attachment to a lot of the songs and it gets me either choked up or giddy listening to them.  Either way they’re quite powerful.

Me outside Wicked with my free shirt!

‘Defying Gravity’ of course is the first act’s ending song.  And it’s amazing.  The first time we saw it Val said she wanted to play Elphaba just for that song (and still does).  ‘As Long As Your Mine’ is one that makes me think of the love for my wife.  ‘I’m Not That Girl’ takes me back to my lonely days in high school and college where I couldn’t ever seem to get a date (not that I’m complaining now!  Looking back that saved me a lot of heart ache I’m sure!).  And then there’s ‘For Good’ which was the first song I heard from Wicked and it was unfortunately sung at a friend’s funeral.  She’s the one I give credit too for introducing me to Broadway musicals and it was a perfect song for her at her funeral.  Now though, I don’t see it quite as somber but in fact uplifting and a mature song as two friends discover they must part their separate ways.

Val with the witch hat drawing box

One thing that definitely made me smile was listening to a mother tell her son and daughter what the play was showing.  She proceeded during the intermission to talk to them about how Elphaba really isn’t Wicked but that’s just how people perceive her.  And then went into how we shouldn’t treat someone differently just based on the way that they look.  And that most people have a huge heart and are kind.  Awwww……this was a great thing to hear at a show and during the holiday season!

All-in-all, the show wasn’t *as* amazing as I recall from 2007(ish) but it was still pretty darn awesome.  I cried.  I admit it.  The songs that Stephen Schwartz did are just fantastic.  And I was a fan of the book before this came out so we’ve been connected for a long time!  

And now there’s going to be a TV show about the book.  A series of Wicked!?  Yes please and thank you (if done well that is!)

The only way I think Wicked could possibly be better for me is if Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth reprised their roles in it.  I would buy those tickets in a heartbeat.  

But this probably won’t happen….or it could.  I thought the same thing about Rent once and then this happened:

See kids?  Dreams do come true if you wait long enough!