Yesterday, PJ and I drove up to Columbus to see the matinĂ©e of Wicked, which is spending a month at the Ohio Theatre. My sister, my friend James and his partner, my parents, and just about everyone else I know has already seen it, so PJ and I thought that we’d avail ourselves of the opportunity to see the company in Columbus. I’m glad we did. Wicked isn’t the greatest musical I’ve ever seen, but it’s entertaining and a lot of fun! I definitely recommend it.

As I’m sure everyone knows, Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, i.e., the “real” story behind The Wizard of Oz. The show begins just after the announcement of the Witch’s death by water. The citizens of Oz soon recall the Glinda was rumored to have been friends with the Wicked Witch, so they want to know how that was possible. The rest of the show is told in flashback, as Glinda reveals what really happened between her, the Witch, and the Wizard.

What I like most about this re-telling is its emphasis on politics and the way in which propaganda shapes political reality. If you get people to believe whatever you tell them, then you can start telling them anything. In many ways, this production is an indictment of the Bush era and the creation of “truth” out of nothing more than lies that protect the administration in power. In this way, this musical is rather bold — I wonder how many of my fellow Midwesterners who saw it yesterday got this message too!

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