I had the pleasure of joining Cupcake’s family last Sunday in the Cultural Center of the Philippines where we watched the much-awaited Broadway musical, Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz. I was told by a couple of friends who watched it in Singapore that it was the same cast, starring Jemma Rix as Elphaba and Suzie Mathers as Glinda.
Before watching the musical, the Cupcake and I spent the whole week just listening to all the songs and knowing them by heart. While Defying Gravity was the one I knew most and even memorized (thanks to Glee), I didn’t want to enter the theater not knowing the rest of the songs. I even read the synopsis online to get a better feel of the musical, and watched a few videos on YouTube to get me even more hyped up.
Come Sunday, I was very ecstatic. At 4pm, the Cupcake fetched me. We met up with his family in their house and rode one car going to Manila. We arrived at around 5:30pm and killed time in Starbucks, where we even bumped into Suzie Mathers who was having coffee with some of the crew.
A view of Manila
With the adorable Suzie Mathers
It was a good thing we arrived early so parking wasn’t a problem. At 7pm, we entered CCP. The play started at exactly 7:30pm.
Of all the Wicked songs, my ultimate favorites are Dancing Through Life, Defying Gravity, and No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (I think it’s pretty evident that I’m a huge Elphaba fan). Jemma Rix was phenomenal! After listening to different versions of Defying Gravity, I honestly think she’s the one who nails it the most—not that I’m forgetting Idina Menzel. Idina is Idina, but there’s something so strong about Jemma Rix’s voice and presence. (Has anyone noticed that she looks like a cross between Robin Scherbatsky of How I Met Your Mother and Amy Fowler of Big Bang Theory?) I literally got goosebumps and teary-eyed when she performed Defying Gravity, which exceeded my expectations. It really blew me away.
In fact, I’m still watching Defying Gravity videos starring Jemma Rix. And yes, I am still getting teary-eyed each time I see my favorite part—“So if you care to find me, look to the western sky!”
I also really commend Jay Laga’aia who played the Wizard, and who also plays Captain Typho in Star Wars. He added a sort of loony characteristic to the Wizard’s persona, and I loved his voice.
In a funny twist of fate, on my way to collect the Php 500 Gift Cards in Serendra last Tuesday night for the Greta’s Junkyard Valentine 2014 Giveaway (you can check out the contest here), I walked by Heroes Hobby Lounge by Maxicollector in High Street and saw that he had a simple Meet-and-Greet session.
Luckily, I had my Wicked ticket with me and got his autograph. I even got to chat with him, where I told him how much I enjoyed the whole show. Because of this, he did a little, short solo of Wonderful.
Wicked in Manila was too amazing, and if I can watch it all over again, I definitely would. The show’s been extended until March 9, so check to see if there are any tickets left available through TicketWorld. The show will take your breath away, I guarantee.