Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why Wicked?

We were crossing the broad expanse of Market street on Saturday morning with a grungy bearded schizophrenic who was ranting about everything from an ex-wife to the oil driven economy to the ills of capitalism. The man, who was around my age, was shouting in an angry hoarse voice that suggested he'd been yelling since he woke that morning. When we reached the other side of the street, we turned in a different direction than he.

"I wonder what dreams his mother had for him when he was born? I wonder when he seemingly lost his mind and why he is so angry?" I asked Cindy. For several blocks we talked about the man.

That evening in the opening act of "Wicked," a Ozian posed another question to Glinda about the Wicked Witch of the West: "Why does wickedness happen?" . . .

thus launching the back story to the Wizard of Oz about a mistreated, misunderstood green girl . . . who in the end is called "wicked." The play dives directly into the complexity of the question: how numerous factors twisting and turning on themselves can in the end melt the truth.

The many layers of "Wicked" keep swirling in my brain . . . the brilliant script, the glorious production, the unending necessity for considering deeply what lies beneath the things we call wicked . . .

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