Wicked wins

The night before we left for our trip north, we had the amazing privilege of seeing the Los Angeles production of Wicked with our very dear friends. Many people had told us how incredible this show is and we had heard over and over again how we just HAD to go and see it. Of course, nights out at the theater are not the norm for us, so while we had both shared a strong desire to see the show, we did not have any real, concrete expectation that we would.

Well, it surpassed even my highest expectations which felt surprising considering all the hype. The night was magical, and the next morning I just could not help myself from showing a few YouTube scenes to Mercy. The flying monkeys and the big talking Wizard head certainly caught her attention, but her imagination was most captured by the relationship between Glinda and Elfeba as they sang a sad goodbye to one another.

Wicked tells “the untold story of the Witches of Oz”, and the friendship between the two witches really turns the story of the Wizard of Oz on its head. And so it was interesting the other day when Mercy stumbled across the Wizard of Oz book in the van that good friends had loaned to us for our trip. It is a book filled with pictures along with the text, and so she sat in her carseat while we drove, flipping through the story.

At one point, Mercy started asking me questions about the Wizard of Oz story and I was answering them according to the original text. Mercy was growing increasingly agitated in the back seat. Finally she cried out in exasperation: “But Mommy, you are not understanding me!” “Mercy, what am I not understanding?” I asked, genuinely confused. “But Mommy, the witches LOVE each other.”

And then her frustration made sense. She was trying to make sense of the story I was telling her but it was in such clear contradiction to what she knew to be true based on Wicked. And I was stuck. I could not get the one story across without violating the other.

Last night during bath-time, Mercy had me tell her the Wicked story three times. For my daughter, a green-skinned, misunderstood friend has captivated her far more than a little Kansas girl and her dog.


  1. Erika,

    Thanks for posting this. We recently saw Wicked also. I don’t like musicals, but I was blown away by it. I too was captivated by Elfeba. Her character resonates with echos of “the way real life works.” I’ve met way too many people who, like Elfeba, are wicked because they’ve had “wicked thrust upon them”—present company included.

  2. Cute story. My wife and I saw “Wicked” several months ago in New York and loved it, though I had to explain the original Wizard of Oz story to her as well. She’s Brazilian and didn’t grow up seeing it on TV every year like I did.

  3. I took my son to see Wicked last year (he was 10 yrs. old) and I remember he was so excited to use my cell phone during the intermission to call my husband, telling him, “Dad! The wicked witch isn’t wicked at all! She’s just misunderstood!”

    It is a great show.

  4. so…um…I might have some videos of various Wicked events that have been on TV. Like, oh, the performance of “Defying Gravity” at the Tony’s the original cast did…

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