On the Way to the Emerald City

While in London, it was Father’s Day and Mojo wanted to see Wicked.  Susan and I saw it three years ago in LA and loved it.

Mojo’s college roommate and his family were traveling with us.  We took the Tube to Leicester Square to find tickets.  Rows of shops advertised discounted tickets but we didn’t know whether they were legitimate so we walked to the main ticket kiosk in the Square.

Turning the corner, Spiderman’s London Premiere stage was being set up.  This remake promised to tell how Peter Parker became Spiderman after losing his parents.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were scheduled to arrive around 6:30.  We thought Wicked was playing at the Apollo Theatre two blocks from Leicester Square.  We had time to change clothes, get back to see the red carpet walk-by and get to Wicked by 7:30.

At 6pm, Leicester Square was full of people.  Large TV screens had been set up to show the stars’ arrival.  But that wasn’t good enough for our little friend Max.

An adventurous ten-year old, he shouted “I’m going in” and dove into the crowd.

We stood on the outside of the mob only seeing the actors on the big screen.  A half hour later, Max reappeared having met Garfield.

Looking more carefully at our tickets we realized Wicked was at the Apollo VICTORIA which was quite a ways away.  With only twenty-five minutes before the show, we decided the Tube was the fastest way to get there.

Wrong.

The entire platform was filled with people.  When the train arrived, Max like the Artful Dodger led his family onto the train, leaving us stranded on the platform.

We arrived late.  The ushers let us to stand behind the sound engineer where we waited for an appropriate break.

The performance was fantastic.  This cast was much better than the one we saw in Los Angeles.

The Irish Rachel Tucker shined as Elphaba.  Gina Beck was a superb Glinda. Unlike his LA counterpart, Matt Willis was convincing as Fiyero.

When Elpahba and Glinda sang “I hope you’re happy now that you’re choosing this” tears came to my eyes as I watched the friends say good-bye.

I felt Elphaba’s power when she defied gravity and flew into the rafters singing,

“And no one in all of Oz, no Wizard that there is nor was, is ever going to bring me down!”

Leaving the theater we saw a small crowd standing outside the backstage door.  The door swung open and out stepped Rachel Tucker in her street clothes.

 

In Oliver Twist’s London, we met two reluctant antiheros in one day.

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