I’ve been away from the computer. Sure, I have my phone but it’s difficult for me to post using the phone. Hard to load photos, ect…so, I have not been writing on the computer much. In my notebook, yes. Computer…no.
So when I checked emails and saw a comment from one of my faithful readers, Christina…it’s always like a Christmas present when someone takes the time to comment on the blog. They are usually positive and encouraging. Turns out, Christina is the makeup artist for the Green Witch in the wildly popular show, Wicked. I read that it is the 12th longest running show on Broadway and it is on tour as well. She was inviting me to come to one of the performances in Dallas which is only a couple of hours away. Blew my mind with excitement because I haven’t been to a show since my trip to New York City and that was a ” looong” time ago.
I quickly answered her YES and called my friend who was having a birthday about the same time. How lucky for me to be able to share this special opportunity with her! Happy Birthday!
Finally, the night came and I drove through North Central Texas to McKinney, picked up my friend and we drove to Deep Ellum for supper. Deep Ellum, in Dallas, is actually a play on the name of Elm Street. In the old days, 1930’s and 40’s, it was a hot spot for jazz and blues. Predominantly the “black” side of town, gambling, tatoo parlors and prostitution were rampant but it has become an arts and entertainment district, full of characters and bars and restaurants. We stopped in to the All Good Cafe where the wildest thing going on was the local honey for sale and a beer with our meatloaf.
Now that we were primed and ready, we put Fair Park Music Hall into the iPhone map and carefully found our way to the parking lot. Blocking our path was security. No problem…we are with the show, we told her. I mean, we kind of were. Christina was… and she was meeting us at the stage door so, little white lie. Very little…
Christina came out to greet us and we were quickly ushered in to the behind the scenes area of the stage where the props girl was checking the remote control on the wheelchair…that’s right! It’s remote control!
If you haven’t seen the show, the novel, described as a political, social, and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil, takes place in the Land of Oz, in the years leading to Dorothy‘s arrival.
If you have seen the show, you know the Green Witch has a sister in a wheelchair. It is “driven” by someone side stage while she pretends to push the wheels with her hands.
Christina explained a little about the sets, all of the clock faces, the head of the Wizard, how Galinda, the Good Witch’s bubble drops from the grid above the stage and we took a few pictures. Not many, you see…it is a famous show after all and photos are pretty much frowned upon so trying to be courteous, we just snapped one here and there.
We got to walk through all of the wardrobe and costumes. The masks, shoes, over a million dollars worth of beautiful, hand-made custom fitted clothing. Fabrics were heavy and sumptuous. It was so easy to get caught up in the pre-performance excitement. Truthfully, I couldn’t take it all in.
We were eventually led into the Green Witch’s dressing room to meet Dee. Dee Roscioli plays the character, Elphaba, the Green Witch, in this tour group. Christina demonstrated how the layers of green makeup were put on in such a way that the makeup never came off or rubbed off on anyone during the performance. We touched it and it felt just like her skin. We asked Dee questions while she was having her makeup put on and she couldn’t have been more gracious and patient. Trying hard not to be starstruck, I thought about what I was asking and listened intently to the answers. As I write, though, I can hardly remember anything…I was so excited just to be there and get to observe the process.
As curtain approached, we said our thank you s and hugged everyone we could get our arms around. The entire crew gave us all the welcome in the world and answered every question while standing for photos with us. We felt like V I P’s.
As we watched Dee and the other cast members on stage during the performance, I thought what an interesting life it must be. To be one person during the day, sometimes traveling with a spouse and child, then to become a character on stage in different cities across the country. Kind of like joining the circus ! What a passionate way to live. Expressing your creative side for a living like that, a true artist. I know it must be very hard work, it is a musical after all and their voices get very tired…
I could go on and on, thinking out loud. But before I finish, I want to say something about the topic of animals having a voice, which is part of the story of Wicked. The perception of “good and evil” is explored and animals in the Land of Oz are losing their ability to speak which Elphaba tries to correct by going to the Wizard.
I was asking Otis, my dog friend, to do something while at a friend’s house and my friend comented…”you talk to him like he can understand what you are saying…
I don’t know if she was saying she thought that was silly or not but as I drove home, I smiled at the idea of that. I talk to the horses the same way and some people may say I am just talking to myself but the truth of the matter is…I talk to the animals because I believe they know my intention by how I deliver my message. I give them an opportunity to “get it” and then supplement my communication with body language or another type of cue. It is out of respect for the intelligence I know they have. To treat them as if they can’t grasp what’s going on just seems, demeaning. I really liked this message about communication with animals in the musical. Look for it if you have a chance to see this wonderful show. Wicked will delight you on so many levels…