Monday, January 23, 2006

 

Wicked (plus tangent on life and such)

Right now I'm listening to the soundtrack from the musical Wicked. And I'm bouncing along in my chair.

My older bro and his girlfriend bought me and my mom the same gift for Christmas - both of us got the book Wicked, and tickets to the musical, for when it comes to Boston in April. Wicked is the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West, and it is written by Gregory Maguire. Let me say right here that no matter what I say about the book, this is a great gift. I love to read, I love musicals, and I love spending time with my mom. And she loves all of the above too, except substitute "with meghan" for "with my mom." (Although she loves spending time with her mom too, but I digress.)

On that note, the book...well...it was okay. It's well-written, and a pretty grabbing read, but I have a history with the Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. In short, it scared the crap out of me when I was younger. I clearly remember hiding my face in the cushions of my babysitter's sofa, covering my ears from the frightening cackle of that green-faced horror. It is seared in my memory, along with "Babes in Toyland" (that snowy accident scene? anyone know what I'm talking about? anyone?).

Since this person babysat me when I was three to four, hiding from the witch could possibly be one of my first memories. (Suddenly everything is coming together...)

Anyhow.

So I approached this book with trepidation. And it's a good story! But the witch's life is just so sad, so that tainted it a bit for me. I appreciate the quality of the writing and the plot, but it's so hard for me to truly love something that is rather depressing. For example, The Kite Runner. I read that during the summer, and it's a fascinating read. And gripping. And totally worthwhile. But I didn't enjoy it. It was kind of like a cross that I had to carry.

Back to Wicked. It was neat to "learn" about the Witch's life. How she tried so, so hard, but she just ended up doing the wrong thing all the time. How she was smart, and hurt and scared, and really not wicked at all. How hard her life was, how lonely she was. So my mom and I decided to watch the Wizard of Oz when I come home for the weekend in February, so that we can see it all with a new point of view. Maybe all of her previous evil actions will look not-so-psychotic because we've taken a walk in her pointy-toed shoes.

That's one thing that I love about the story; getting behind the motivations of someone who has been so maligned since the original book was published in 1900. As Alanis Morisette once said on a VH1 commericial that I randomly remember from when I was a sophomore in college, "Anger is an extension of hurt."

The Wicked Witch of the West, ladies and gentlemen, is one hurt individual. And it's so hard to remember that and apply it to everyday life. Not to be all Dalai Lama, but often when someone lashes out, it's due to hurt feelings or insecurities or from being scared. And if you remember that, and address that as the root of the problem, instead of reacting to the anger, a connection is truly made.

But when all that is said and done, her life still stunk. And that's a total downer.

Yesterday afternoon we (we being me, E and DV) went to Borders. DV suggested we split up, we agreed, so he went to the right, and E and I made a beeline together to the cards section. There we pondered the fact that we had said we would split up, then didn't. Especially since we had just gone on for about five minutes about how we're natural loners, that's why we get along so well.

Serendipitously, there was a Wicked soundtrack right on top of some of the cards. Since I have zero self-control, and I've been wondering what the musical will sound like, I decided to buy it, once I got over the (repeated) embarrassment of buying a CD in a bookstore.

I listened to it during work while entering corrections and sorting mail (don't be too jealous now!). And I know this is rather basic, and shows a lack of common sense on my part, but I was delighted to find that the Witch has this ridiculously amazing voice. I expected some sort of scratchy nasally barely tolerable sound, but it's just like, "wow." And the main guy has a very hot voice. I also thought that all of the music would be really glum. Funereal. But there are tingles and pianos and light violins. It's kind of a Phantom of the Opera meets Rent sound. Sort of dark and intense, but with soaring upbeats.

The soundtrack has it all. Love songs. Hate songs. Sad songs. Songs for friends. Songs for singing and dancing to when you're in your room.

And so I suppose it was a successful book in terms of winning me over, even though I claim to have not truly enjoyed it. Afterall, I dropped $15 for the soundtrack and I've put quite a couple of songs on perma-repeat. (in case anyone is wondering, "As Long As You're Mine", "I'm Not That Girl", "Popular", and "What Is This Feeling?".) I've made great strides - I'm going to re-visit that which scared me as a child, and I'm writing a blog entry about it.

"Kiss me too fiercely
Hold me too tight
I need help believing you're with me tonight

My wildest dreamings
could not foresee
lying beside you
with you wanting me"

Does the Wicked Witch that you thought you knew sing that? I think not!

Comments:
No one ever thinks they're the bad guy.
They always have an excuse. It's always been someone elses fault.
Never their own.
Having said that, I may have to read it.
I mean, what makes a good villian?
Darth Vader?
We all know now that he did it for love.
How crazy is that?
Darth Vader in love.
If Vader can be portrayed in a sympathetic light, than the poor emerald shaded witch deserves a chance to be heard too.
 
Scrubs was one big allusion to the Wizard of Oz last night! Anyways, the Wizard of Oz has always scared me.The whole thing.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?