OVER THE RAINBOW
I’ve loved musical theatre since before I can hardly remember. Starting with Disney movies, to live plays in the theatre, to performing in choirs and churches, musical theatre has been in my heart and soul. One of my dreams is to perform, just once, in a musical. Well, I’ve done fantastical holiday musicals, but I mean, something classic and powerful, someone I love to sing.
Well, for years now I’ve wanted to see Wicked. I’ve had the original cast album for a long time and been stirred and moved by the songs. Is there anything like Defying Gravity? Or For Good, an anthem of friendship? And then the crowd scenes with those cool, almost dissonant harmonies, reminiscent of Andrew Lloyd Weber crowd scenes in shows like Superstar or Evita. Yeah, I’ve loved the sound but never got to see the show.
I discovered that my friend, Sandi, Petunia’s puppy raiser, loves musical theatre and live music of many varieties, as much as I. Well, this opened so many possibilities before my yearning soul. And then I happened to check the web site of the Denver center for the Performing arts, just checking the upcoming season. And what to my amazed eyes, um ears since I use a screen read, what to my wondering ears did appear, but Wicked, coming to Denver, June and July! Was I dreaming? Could it be true? I hit the email and invited, made the calls and got the tickets, and waited not so patiently for the day. And that day was today.
We planned to go to a matinee. It’s an hour drive down to Denver, so Sandi picked us up a couple hours in advance. We drove down, arriving before will-call opened and so we decided to grab a bit of lunch at the Limelight Supper Club. Ooooo. What a glorious name for a restaurant in a complex of theatres! We each had a mimosa. I had a hamburger, and Sandi had an omelet. I didn’t expect the burger to be great, and yet it was delicious. The meat had so much flavor. I could hardly stop eating. And the mimosa actually did have tastable champagne. Wow.
After lunch, we picked up the tickets and headed into the theatre itself. I’d arranged for disabled seating so there would be room for my leg and for Petunia. I’d also asked for a braille program, and we stopped at the coat check area to pick that up. The disabled seating isn’t in a row of seats exactly. We were at the back of the orchestra section of the seating, and there was plenty of room for Tuney to stretch out and be comfortable. As we waited for the show to begin I greedily read my program, devouring it like a hungry person, so gleeful was I to be able to read the same info the sighted audience could read.
Then, the show began.
Oh, what can I say? There are no words, truly. When the crowd starts off singing, “Good News. She’s dead.”, well, I began to cry. I’d waited so long, so very long, and at last, here I was, in a real theatre, with Wicked beginning, not a local music group but a profession touring cast. I was overwhelmed with emotion. After that, I was utterly and completely mesmerized, captivated by the show.
The singers were so good. Good isn’t a strong enough word, but incredible, fabulous, marvelous, fantastic, wonderful, they just don’t say enough. The girls, Glinda and Elphaba, well, they were just beyond description. I love Idina and Kristin, but these performers today are every bit as good. Elphaba blew me over the rainbow singing Defying Gravity, and Glinda made me cry with For Good. They carried the show. All the performers were excellent, but the show is about the two friends, and they made it their show in every way. I never wanted it to end.
Alas, it did have to end. We gathered us, the dog, the precious program, and we headed back to the car and on our way, away from Oz. Sigh.
On the way to dinner, we stopped at Sandi’s house to let Petunia get some water and relieve. Tuney was over the moon when she realized where she was! She grew there of course, and she was so happy to see it again. But when it was time to leave, she was ready to go with me and didn’t look back.
We stopped at Chili’s for dinner and then came home. It’s now 11:00 PM as I finish writing this, and I’m still unwinding. I’ve been home for nearly three hours, but the high has not faded. I’ve got the musicals play list going, and every time a song from Wicked comes around, I stop what I’m doing, and stand still, listening, remembering and yearning to be back there again.