The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

"Wicked" musical better than book

The week between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite weeks of the whole year. The post-Christmas blahs haven’t quite set in yet, so everyone is happy. It tends to be fairly relaxed and I can catch up with family and friends.

Yesterday, my mom and I spent the afternoon and evening with various aunts and cousins. We saw the matinee of "Wicked" at Proctors and went to the Holiday Lights at Washington Park.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Wicked," and my mom did too. Two of my aunts and two of my cousins, however, did not have as favorable opinions. I thought it was a spectacular production. The performers were at the top of their game. The special effects were great and I liked the story line. I enjoyed being challenged to look at "The Wizard of Oz" in a different way.

This also gives me a chance to quickly plug the cloud club seats at Proctors. For each musical, Proctors normally offers $20 seats in the balcony wings. They were $30 for Wicked. I love these seats. For one, they’re only a little more than movie tickets. And, it’s hard to have a bad seat in Proctors. We were in the second to last row in the balcony, all the way to the right, and I still saw everything on stage.

I trudged through Gregory Maguire’s novel "Wicked" a few years ago and wasn’t that impressed. I found it incredibly dense and difficult to get through. But the musical inspired me to give it another try.
More importantly, it inspired me to read the original "Wizard of Oz" series. I have a running list of books I’m embarrassed that I haven’t read. I’m currently reading the complete Sherlock Holmes (in between reading other things), so when I finish that (in about six years), I’ll turn to L. Frank Baum.

As for Lights in the Park, I’m not sure I’ve ever been before. If I have, it’s a minimum of 10 years ago. My mom, my aunt and my 10-year-old cousin and I all thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s rare to find something that pleases the four of us (although this combination of aunt and cousin also enjoyed "Wicked"), so Lights in the Park is certainly a hit. The displays are fairly intricate. They move and twinkle and blink.

These reviews come somewhat late. "Wicked" closed Sunday night and Lights in the Park has ended, as well.

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