It's been nearly three years since my friend Vanessa introduced me to the music of Wicked, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz about two young witches, Elphaba and Glinda, who came to be the Wicked Witch of the West, and The Good Witch of the North, respectively.
I finally saw it last month; it was worth the wait.
There is so much I could say, but here are the highlights, including a special YouTube treat:
1) Elphaba = Leah. Though clearly more talented than Glinda, because no one thinks her so, except those that want to use her, Elphaba feels undervalued and isolated. What would have happened if she could have believed, and others had believed, especially her parents and teachers, that she was Rachel? Would she have become The Wicked Witch of the West? Likely not.
Do we as parents, teachers, friends, family ever contribute to those in our care believing they are Leah?
2) Glinda = Rachel. I often talk of remembering we are Rachel, yet Wicked taught me that there are women who happily haven't forgotten. It also prompted the realization that just as Leah has her light side (stretching and striving), there can be a dark side to Rachel (being corrupted by the power and privilege that redounds to Rachel).
When in a situation in which we are beloved, as was Glinda the Good Witch, do we ever pull a Popular? Do we become so enamored with the fairy godmother persona that we inadvertently demean others? Can we guard against this corruption?
3) For Good, which celebrates the friendship of Elphaba and Glinda, could also be a systergy anthem. Listen to the lyrics as Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, the original stars, rehearse; I'll be curious to hear if you agree.
Who has changed your life for good? Have you seen Wicked? What were your highlights?