Last night I went with my family to see Wicked at the Marina Bay Sands Theater. Now, I’m really not much of a musical guy; I think it’s kinda silly for characters to burst into song every five minutes. But my wife is into musicals, so I’ve been with her to maybe like a handful of musicals. Usually when I go in I just hope that the story will be somewhat enjoyable and that I might recognize maybe one or two songs.
Wicked was no different, because I don’t really know anything about it. I know it’s like some kinda prequel story about the two witches from The Wizard of Oz, and that’s about the extent of my knowledge of it.
So imagine my surprise when at the end of the first act, the two witches started singing Defying Gravity… and the first thing to pop into my head was: “Isn’t this the song in Glee when Kurt deliberately blew the high F?”
This would surprise most of my friends, because I’m pretty vocal about my dislike of Glee. Characters like Finn, Mercedes, and Artie annoy the crap out of me (Artie most of all), and I’ve suffered eyestrain from rolling my eyes whenever my wife and her friend Des talk about Glee and giggle repeatedly. Despite this, I’m somewhat familiar with the first season of the show, because my wife would hijack the TV to watch it while I pathetically held onto my Xbox controller in denial. Then I also went ahead and bought the Glee soundtrack for the wifey, and it became the only CD that would be played in our car whenever she was in it.
But despite all my resentment towards the show, I found one shining light in it: Chris Colfer as Kurt. This guy has an amazing voice, and the story arc about his homosexuality and his relationship with his father was one of the better stories I’ve seen on TV recently. I really couldn’t bring myself to give a crap about the Finn/Puck/Quinn story, or even the Will/Terri/Emma thing, but I was really drawn into Kurt’s story arcs. The guy gets bullied a lot, but never hides his identity or sexuality. The one big shining moment in Glee, in my opinion, was when Kurt deliberately blew the high F because of his love for his dad.
So yeah, Wicked turned out to be the origin of the song from my favorite moment of Glee.
But beyond the Glee flashback, I actually really enjoyed the story of Wicked, mainly due to the Elphaba character. If it’s one basic storyline that I can never get sick of, it’s the one that involves misunderstood outcasts. If a movie involves someone that’s a fish out of water trying to find his way, I’ll probably fork out money to see it. I can’t help it, because I love characters like Mary Stuart Masterson’s in Some Kind of Wonderful, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, and now Elphaba.
If you’re not familiar with the Wicked story, basically it’s about the Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who due to her green skin, is shunned by her father, her classmates, and basically everyone. Eventually, her different views and desire to save the animals of Oz cause her to be demonized as “the Wicked Witch of the West” by the propaganda of a corrupt government.
The fact that I am so fond of these stories and characters probably says something about my childhood, but I’m not sure what that could be.
Anyway, I’ve been on quite the “Defy Gravity” trip today, and I’ve kinda listened to the Idina Menzel/Kristin Chenoweth version on repeat all day at work. Occasionally, I’d pop on the Lea Michelle and Chris Colfer versions too. Here’s a question, which Glee cover do you think sounds better? The Lea Michelle version, or the Chris Colfer version?
I’m leaning towards the Chris Colfer version, but that’s because I think Kurt’s awesome. If they picked him to play Elphaba in the upcoming movie, I’d go see it for sure.