Friday, April 6, 2012

WICKEDly Good!

One of the recent benefits of stopping over in Singapore is catching world-class musicals.

 Last Friday, I watched the Singapore production of WICKED . I had high expectations as every one has been raving about this multi-awarded musical. Naturally, many were thrilled when it first opened in Asia last December. I know of some friends who flew from Manila to Singapore just to watch the musical. With its Singapore run ending on April 22, I felt compelled to see Wicked at the Marina Bay Sands. I was not at all disappointed.

I expected to be wowed, and yes, I was. But I did not expect to be touched and my emotions deeply stirred by the Wicked Witch Elphaba. I found myself connecting with this powerful green witch. Tears rolled down my eyes as she sang, “I’m not that Girl.” The song vividly captures Elphaba’s pain of wanting to be loved, but not fitting the stereotype of the girl guys go after. It cleverly sums up both feelings of aching for someone, but dismissing the possibility to nip pain in the bud.

Defying Gravity is the most popular song in the musical. I now see why. It tells the unstoppable spirit of Elphaba: her desires, what she stands for and her very best self. The lyrics are so wonderfully written by Stephen Schwartz (the same composer and lyricist for Pippin and Godspell).

“As someone told me lately:
‘Everyone deserves the chance to fly’
And if I’m flying solo
At least I’m flying free
To those who’d ground me
Take a message back from me:
Tell them how I’m defying gravity
I’m flying high defying gravity
And soon I’ll match them in renown
And nobody in all of oz
No wizard that there is or was
Is ever going to bring me down!” 

Seeing Elphaba’s astounding performance of this song, her voice soars as she literally lifts up onstage. It brings any reflective person watching to dig deep within, and be inspired to be boldly the best version of them selves.  It empowered me to be embrace my inner self and to be unapologetic in releasing it to the world.

a fan posing with Elphaba and Glinda after the show

But when Elphaba and Glinda sang “For Good” tears uncontrollably rolled down my cheeks. The amazing power of how we are changed for good by the special people in our lives.  Days after watching “Wicked” the lyrics still play in my head.
“It well may be
that we will never meet again
in this lifetime
so let me say before we part
so much of me
is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.
Like a ship blown from its mooring,
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you… I have been changed for good.”
While we would rather ignore it, the truth is this. Today’s world judges us for not being the right color, the right weight, height, or nationality. And that stings.  Ultimately, we all want to be loved.  We all want to connect deeply with others. We all want to belong. Yet, we cannot deny who we really are. In each one of us, there is an Elphaba. Sometimes, she is dormant within us. Once in a while, we let her out. The musical reminded me to be kind to one another. More importantly, it taught me to BE WICKED. And that for me now means boldly your best loving self and believing you will be loved.

I highly recommend catching the last few shows until April 22. Check out

copyrightMaidaPineda2012. Follow me on facebook (Maida's Touch) and twitter/themaidastouch

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