W: “Wicked” Redemption

Wicked Witch of the West

W   Wicked was the first and only Broadway musical I had the privilege of seeing in New York City, and the experience was everything I dreamed it would be. To celebrate our anniversary, my wife and I had flown to New York for the weekend and before we knew it, we found ourselves strolling down Broadway Avenue.

I had heard a lot of great things about Wicked: The Musical. It has won over 50 major awards, including a Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. It was also declared “Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly and “A Cultural Phenomenon” by Variety Magazine.[1]

The theatre was smaller than I had envisioned, but when the first number began I realized why. The chorus blasted us with a powerful wall of sound, and to hear so many wonderful singers performing live, all in one place and all at one time, was enough to get me choked up. I had dreamed of seeing an actual Broadway show for years, and I couldn’t believe I was actually there.

 

We Love to Redeem the Wicked

Along with the stellar cast and magical script, there’s something else that causes us to fall in love with Wicked. Yes, we’ll all be humming Defying Gravity until our dying day – but that’s not all! The story shows us a softer side of Elphaba, the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. Through the magic of Broadway, this character is transformed from “Heartless Green Monster” to “Misunderstood Dreamer.” And we love it!

This, I believe, is one of our favorite archetypes: the incredible villain who finds a way to redeem him or herself. Think of Regina, the Evil Queen from ABC’s Once Upon a Time, who turns out to have a soft spot for children and may not be “pure evil” after all. And how could we forget Darth Vader, the sinister Star Wars villain who held the galaxy in his grip of terror until he redeems himself by risking his life in order to hurl the Evil Emperor Palpatine to his grisly death?

We want there to be hope for even the vilest of villains, because deep within us we know that redemption and restoration is right. It’s the way things are supposed to end. According to the Bible, every one of us has gone astray, wandering down the path of wickedness. We’re all villains! But God doesn’t want to leave it that way. He sees the good in us and reaches out to us, offering salvation to any who see His outstretched hand and take it before it’s too late (Psalm 34:22).

Why do we long for stories of great villains who find hope through redemption?

Because, we figure, if there’s hope for Darth Vader and the Wicked Witch of the West, there might just be hope for us, too.

 

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Watch the Defying Gravity Performance from the Tony Awards!

 

You didn’t really think I could post about Wicked without including a sample, did you?

 

 

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[1] Wicked: The Musical – Official Website: http://www.wickedthemusical.com/the-show

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14 thoughts on “W: “Wicked” Redemption

  1. Stories like this also reflect reality; no one is all good or all bad. We are so much more complex than that, and Wicked (and Once Upon a Time, as you cited) explores the grey that is, ultimately, in all of us.

    LOVED the play Wicked when I saw it in London.

    Like

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