Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wicked Good Time

When I posted a few of my favorite films from last year yesterday, I said I'd have my top ten today. Unfortunately, yesterday was a bit busier than expected so you'll have to wait one more day. But speaking of being busy yesterday...

I had every intention of staying at home, but a friend wanted to hang out in the city (New York City for the unawares). We tried to get rush tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest, but unfortunately they didn't have them for that day. My memory is hazy regarding the plot, but I saw the film only five years ago in college and remembered absolutely loving it.

We decided to try for Wicked's lottery, but with its popularity, we had very little hope and indeed we didn't get it. We rushed over to do the lottery for American Idiot next and also didn't win, but since we both wanted to see Melissa Etheridge in her one-week engagement, we decided to buy partial view tickets. I was fine with that since I had already seen the musical a couple months back. Etheridge was fantastic and her guttural voice and sharp shrieks worked perfectly for the St. Jimmy role. As for the cast, they were again phenomenal and I'm hoping the rumor that Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day pursuing opportunities to adapt this into a feature film happens. Yes, the plot needs to be more substantial, but I think it can work ala Julie Taymor's Across the Universe. In fact, why not hire Taymor? Well at least after she deals with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

After grabbing some insanely decadent hot chocolate at The City Bakery, we tried the lottery for Wicked again. Of course with it being the night showing, there were more people wanting tickets and we were so discouraged we hung out in the back so as to make a quick getaway. It was for naught, however, as I heard my name being called. Fast forward to us seating in the second row of Wicked and let me tell you the stage was just amazing to behold with its steampunk quality complete with a robotic dragon high above the audience's heads which billowed smoke at the beginning of the musical. I've listened to the soundtrack countless of times, but the actual play really filled it many holes which I was too lazy to fill via wikipedia or actually reading the book the musical was based on.

But I said on twitter last night, it was all just breathtaking. From the singing, the production, the costume... THE COSTUME. They are magnificent. It's hard to pick a favorite, but Elphaba's final dress, though mostly black, was so intricate it looked like a work of art. And just so I remember down the line, I saw it with Teal Wicks playing Elphaba, Katie Rose Clarke as Glinda, and Kyle Dean Massey playing Fiyero. They were all pretty damn good.

Now what's taking the movie version so long? Is it a matter of the producers worrying that a movie version would hurt the massively successful Broadway version? I think that's hogwash and they really should strike while the iron is hot. As far as I know there's no Wicked movie in production at the moment, but there are a bunch of other Oz-related films in the pipeline so we won't lack for that. The most high profile of them all is Disney's The Great And Powerful which tells the Oz story from the eyes of the Wizard. Directed by Sam Raimi and slated for a 2013 release, it's currently having trouble finding the actor to play its lead. Robert Downey, Jr. was originally cast, but was then replaced by Johnny Depp, who then turned it down and now the rumor mill is saying James Franco is being considered the role.

Whatever man, though now that I think about it... Franco as Scarecrow, Depp as Tin Man, and Downey Jr. as Cowardly Lion. Genius. Someone greenlight that movie!

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