I was in Singapore last weekend, my first time to visit the island state. I've never been interested to visit Singapore before; that is until I heard "Wicked" would be staged at the Marina Bay Sands. I've been a big fan of "Wicked" for quite some time now. It's just one of those big Broadway musicals I could only dream of seeing. Besides, it was also a good reason to finally see the Lion City.
Well, my impressions of Singapore are all the things you've heard about it from other people: it's clean, has lots of trees, it's orderly and efficient, and so on. Those things I immediately noticed, especially the trees.
Did someone tell you it has loads of Pinoys too? We are everywhere there! In the bus, on the train, on the pavement... every freaking where. It's nice though. It's like being back in Manila, only it's way, way cleaner than the usual.
So I also have Pinoy friends there who warmly welcomed me to their home for two nights. We hopped around the bars in the gay area of Tanjung Pagar (if I remember that correctly) on my first night there.
I fell in love with that area just around China Town - all those quaint old shophouses and temples - where I also went to meet some more friends for lunch at a hawker's place. By the way, I was absolutely thrilled by the diversity of food one can find in Singapore. No, I did not try chicken rice or crab chili thingie when I was there. That should be for next time no?
I also missed going to the Singapore Art Museum, which was in my itinerary. I just ran out of time, so I instead went straight from China Town to Marina Bay Sands.
Gosh, that is one posh place. I'm not too sold out on the architecture though (I saw the mall mostly). It's meant to awe, the sheer enormity of it - glass, steel, lights, and all - is supposed to sweep you off your feet, but obviously not mine. I don't know, I just felt disconnected from it. Or maybe I'm just bitter because I could not afford anything there. :-)
So it's time to watch "Wicked". I was there way too early, I was one of the first few people who entered the lobby. Excited much?
The show was ahhhmazing. I'm not kidding when I say that I had goosebumps practically through the entire show. I've been listening to the musical's songs for ages now, and to finally see them given life by the actors, dancers, lights, costumes, and set was nothing short of a transcendental experience.
For me, Glinda (Suzie Mathers), the good witch, stole the show. She's perky, endearingly self-absorbed, and, how shall I put this... kikay.
Elphaba (Zoe Jarett) was overshadowed perhaps because she lacked intensity. She's a good singer of course, but I expected Elphaba to be more fervent, if not angrier. Even the "Defying Gravity" segment lacked power... but then maybe I just expected too much from the scene.
The other scene I most looked forward to is the one in which they sing "For Good". I've always loved that song and seeing it performed on stage almost made me cry.
So watching "Wicked" was a dream come true for me. All those songs are still playing in my head. And as I write this post I'm listening to its recording. Thanks a lot for the kind soul who made it possible... you know who you are.