Friday, July 29, 2011

Wicked Sparkle

If you've seen Wicked (and by 'seen'  Wicked I mean the musical, not the horrendous rubbish that is the book) I'm sure you assume this Sparkle blog will be all about Galinda.  Truly, Galinda does Sparkle.  Just look at her in her pink ballgown next to Elphaba's black frock.  She's radiant, but she peaks early.

From the moment Galinda is carried into 'dear old Shiz' on top of a brass-hinged trunk in her starched white traveling suit, surely purchased from Oz's answer to Ann Taylor, she positively beams.

As the girls' story unfolds, however, Galinda loses herself.  She is overrun with feelings of jealous loathing for Elphaba, and her confidence is shaken...shaken to the point that she changes her name in a desperate plight to fit in.

By intermission you see Elphaba's Sparkle shining through her green-hued skin.  What she lacks in 'the proper poise when you talk to boys' she makes up in bravery and a refusal to back down from her beliefs.  As she 'defies gravity', every person in the audience begins to feel an inner-Elphie rising up.

I've been lucky enough to see Wicked twice now, and have chatted about the musical with many friends.  There is a general consensus that we all see ourselves as Elphaba.  Even my most Galinda of friends identify more with Elphie.  So what does this say about us?  Galinda is obviously the Barbie princess of the story.  Boys fall all over themselves to impress her, all the girls take her side, her 'Momsie and Popsicle' dote upon her endlessly, and she travels by bubble for heaven's sake.  Yet, we all want to be the 'froggy, ferny, cabbage'.  Elphaba's strength through adversity and ability to forgive overshadows Galinda's too-obvious Sparkle.  She lets Galinda and Fiyero see inside her tough exterior and is forever 'changed for good' by that choice.  Letting others in is terrifying.  They'll see the crazy you are underneath, but if you're lucky they'll eventually 'melt' a little and show you their own crazy too.  Be brave and Sparkle through new friendships.  'As terrifying as terror is' you won't regret it.

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