When I was 8 or 9-years-old my family began watching "The Wizard of Oz" on television. Televisions were relatively new and a movie on television was completely new. I remember that in October a great deal of advertising began for the show and many, many people would tune in. Typically the movie was broadcast in November, an early harbinger of the Christmas Holidays. We had a black and white television those years and so did not get the full splendor of Dorothy opening the fallen house door onto Munchkin Land. Somewhere in time, the movie lost its tie to Christmas, then came VHS tapes, then DVDs, and now streaming. But for me, the tradition remains, I've been watching the "Wizard" in the weeks before Christmas for sixty plus years. I will continue to watch in November each year but now, now my view of the witches has forever changed and my thoughts on the "Wizard" are very different. Why?
Last night, Diane and I went to the Broadway in Richmond production of "Wicked" in the Altria Theater. The singing and acting was fabulous! Each cast member was outstanding and the performances of the two witches, Lissa deGuzman and Jennafer Newberry were stunning, powerful, and compelling. The staging, costumes, lighting, well everything was spot-on for the songs, the stories and the performers. The show was fun, it made me smile and laugh and wince. I say wince because the story was about the witches before and during the story we all know in the "Wizard of Oz." Wicked's story is about being different, being ridiculed, making friends, falling in love... The next time I watch the "Wizard" I will be overlaying the story and performance of this play onto the story and performance filmed eighty-five years ago that I still watch today.
The image below is a composite from my images and stock images.