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A Wicked Good Time by Ashley Grant for Tampa Bay Parenting

“Is he good or is he evil?” Those words were spoken by a young farm girl from Kansas in a movie all too familiar to most people- Dorothy in the 1939 film the Wizard of Oz said these words in regards to the Wizard himself. Well, in Wicked the musical audiences learn that evil is in the eye of the beholder.

I confess I have wanted to see Wicked for several years. It just so happened that this time when it came back to the Straz Center by “popular” demand that it would be my grand opportunity to see how the yellow brick road came to be.

From the beginning number to the very last note I sat on the edge of my sheet under the spell of it all. I was instantly brought back to the days of my own youth when I felt like I too was an outside, although, my skin wasn’t green.

As the little green girl that would grow up to be a Wicked Witch of the West sang her lungs out I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her and wanted nothing more than to give her a hug and tell her it’s okay to be different. Sadly, like a monkey in a cage I sat helpless as I watched this tortured girl come to find that it was okay to be different just long enough to see that your best features can be used against you by people that have ulterior motives. I also got to watch how a girl who seems like a shallow and popular socialite can grow a heart, a brain and some courage. Interesting how these themes played out.

Of all the musicals and productions I have ever witnessed on a stage, none can compare to Wicked now that I’ve had the pleasure of watching it. The songs, the story and the way the characters can touch everyone in the audience at some point in the two hours or so they spend together blows every other show out of the water…and as we have learned water is something you must be cautious of lest you melt.

I’m officially a fan and want to watch the Wizard of Oz again to connect all the dots once more. The number one thing I learned from watching Wicked is there is a little wicked in all of us, but luckily, there is some good too!

Wicked the Musical is playing at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts now  thru January 27, 2013. To for more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

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