My sixth grade Thanksgiving was average, at best. The usual grandmother’s house gathering with family members who crack puns at the dinner table and can’t agree on football or TLC reruns. My friend, however, went to New York and returned with a novel, a t-shirt, and a new favorite musical.
Wicked, based on a novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire, pushed Making Fiends and those odd Target caricatures aside to become the hottest topic in the grade. The recording company probably made a few hundred dollars from us alone. We read the novel (and its sequels) from cover to cover, memorized each breath that Idina Menzel took on the soundtrack, and quoted song lyrics in everyday conversation. Wicked was the ultimate middle school epidemic.
So when the Fabulous Fox Theatre announced that it would host a tour show, we went wild. Could we scrape together the $50 (more if you wanted a decent seat) with no job, no bank account, and small allowances from our parents? We waited in hopes that our parents would be kind enough to support our venture.
As I opened my presents on Christmas Day, I came across an envelope containing two Ticketmaster slips of paper.
I was in.
After months of anticipation, my mother and I entered the Fox Theatre on a warm spring evening. Coke and Junior Mints in hand, we sat down, and I watched in awe as the curtain opened.
I’ve seen shows on Broadway – comedies, tragedies, musicals, plays. None of them could begin to compare to Wicked. The plot enticed the audience from the beginning, absorbing every ounce of my attention until the curtain closed for the final time, when I proceeded to wonder where the past two-and-a-half hours of my life had gone.
Go see it. It’s so catchy that even the recorded soundtrack, containing songs that my iTunes library alone has blasted between one and four hundred times each, still sucks me in.
My favorite song varies, but due to the recent Glee episode and my encroaching feelings of nostalgia for “those high school years?”
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.