I'll admit, I had very little interest in it until a year or two ago when someone told me that I reminded them of the song "What Is This Feeling?" - you know, the one about loathing. (I took it as a compliment. We're still friends; don't worry.)
Then, slowly, I entered the realm of Wicked. I downloaded all of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel's duets first, because frankly, they're the best. I put "Defying Gravity" on repeat. Then I read the book. Then, at long last, I finally saw the musical on stage in New York City over the summer.
Now, I officially can say that I love it, wholeheartedly.
Perhaps even more than I love Elphaba, I love Glinda. I love that Glinda is profoundly and fundamentally changed, from beginning to finish. I love that she's self-absorbed and even mean, but she feels enough for Elphaba to befriend her. I love that she tries so hard to be the person she wants to be - perhaps even the person she is, but she's just too scared. I love that she cares so much about how people see her that she can't break out of the box that society puts her in. I love that she is a victim of her circumstances. I love that she makes a choice, and it changes her life. I love that she starts with the high-pitched squeaks of "Popular" and finishes with the rich lower harmonies of "For Good." I love that she is forced to grow up, and that the world breaks her a little bit.
I love Glinda and Elphaba together. I love that they are each other's first true friends. I love that they hurt each other. I love that they forgive each other. I love that they change each other. I love that at the end of the day, it's not about Fiyero, or Nessarose, or even the Wizard. It's about Glinda, and Elphaba, and their relationship.
I love that Wicked tells the story of two women. I love that it's comical, and whimsical, and terribly dark and tragic at the same time. I love the melodies, the lyrics, the themes, and the voices. I love that "Defying Gravity" makes me feel like I can do anything I want if I just try. I love that "For Good" breaks my heart and makes me appreciate my true friendships.
I love it all.
So, thank you, Wicked, for giving me so much to love. I do believe I have been changed for the better. Happy seventh anniversary! May you continue changing the people who are lucky enough to experience you. I'll be back in less than a month...