Monday, December 10, 2007

A Bit of Broadway in Hartford

One of the things I miss about living in New Jersey is how easy and quick it was to get into New York City. I really enjoyed going to see different Broadway musicals there. My favorite was Fiddler on the Roof, which I saw three or four times when Alfred Molina was starring as Tevye (he was Doc Ock in Spiderman 2). I will always love the songs and story of Fiddler.

The last time I went to a show was in December 2004, when I was seven months pregnant with John. Little Women was opening, and I went to a preview showing of it. Sutton Foster was starring as Jo March, and she had recently won a Tony Award for her starring role in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Peter didn't want to go with me (I don't know why! It was Little Women for Pete's sake!), so I went by myself (I guess John was there too, enjoying it from the warmth and comfort of my belly). I thought the show was very good, but it didn't last very long on Broadway. Peter might say the reason for that is because it was Little Women.

So anyway, I've been a bit starved for the culture of the stage for the past three years, but that came to an end last Saturday night. Wicked was on tour in Hartford, and we went. It was awesome! I had heard such good things about it, and it lived up to the hype. The "untold story" about the witches of Oz was very creative and clever. The music and the acting were of the best quality, and the dialogue and story had a lot of funny wit while at the same time being kind of inspirational in an unsappy sort of way. There were some really cool special effects too, particularly when Elphaba (a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West) flew up into the sky. I couldn't figure out how they did that! (Still can't!)

The only drawback for me was that I was so exhausted. The night before I got less than five hours of sleep and then I had a really busy day on Saturday. So during one or two of the slower songs I leaned my head on Peter's shoulder and rested my poor tired eyes. Other than that, I was captivated and loved it. I'm interested in reading the book, but I've heard that it's actually pretty dry and lacks the humor that the musical has. So maybe I'll just let the musical be enough, at least for for now, since my "Books to Read" list is already long enough. I really recommend Wicked to anyone going to New York who wants to see a great show!


Peter said...

It was a very good musical. I just wonder if the director/producer was making fun of Bush with the made up words and the references to "regime change". The musical was produced from 2000-2003 so it definitely could have been written that way.

Alyson said...

Yeah, I heard the musical is way better than the book. I'm interested in seeing it. Maybe one of these days. I think it's one of the shows that's shut down because of the strike in NYC. I'm not sure if that strike is over yet.

I'm wanting to take advantage of being so close to Broadway. 12 years ago I saw Miss Saigon on broadway and it was amazing. I'm dying to go see something else there.

Donna said...

The strike is over, so the shows are up and running again. You should go and see something when you get a chance. I'll go with you if you want! I heard such good things about Miss Saigon, you're lucky you got to see it.

Peter, I dismissed your thought on political references in Wicked when you first mentioned it that night, but the more I think about it the more I think you might be right. If they are shots at Bush, they're pretty subtle and kind of funny!

Alyson said...

I'd love to go see something! Let me know if you hear of anything good and let's go! :)

Katie said...

I got to see Wicked twice - the first time was with my hubbie, and the second with my sister, both here in Philly. It was OUTSTANDING. By far the best musical I have ever seen.

Andy and I got season's tickets to the Walnut St. theatre this year, since we have rarely gotten out since Josh was born. That was one of the best decisions we've made! We've seen Man of La Mancha and Peter Pan so far. Les Mis will be in May, and there are a few, non-musicals before then.

As for the book Wicked, Andy read it, and it is nothing like the play. Elphaba is a hermaphrodite... she has an affair with Fiero (who is married to Glinda at the time)... Elphaba's mother was drugged and, um, "violently forced into relations" with the Wizard... and a whole lot of other bad stuff that you really don't want in your head. Just a warning, before you think of borrowing it from the library or anything.

Donna said...

Wow, they really did a good job of changing the story for the stage if the book had all of that in it! The musical was so much more upbeat. Thanks for filling me in and saving me the time of reading the book!

That's so nice that you and Andy have season tickets to the shows. I wish we had something like that. It's nice to be able to go out every so often like old times, isn't it?

Katie said...

We only get out about bimonthly with the tickets, since there are 5 shows spread over the year. Still, thats much better than our average get-out-on-a-real-date-w/o-the-baby time, which was once every 6 months before we got the tickets!!