Ryan and I went out with my co-workers this Wednesday night to the touring Broadway show that's currently in Philly--Wicked. Several times a year my office foots the bill for the cultural advancement of its employees and their spouses (we have a 7-person office). This has been one of the main perks of my job as we have gotten to see sporting events, plays, ballets, musicals, museum exhibits and even the Cirque du Soleil--all of which we never would have been able to afford ourselves. Plus, the nights come with an expense-paid dinner at some of Philly's finest.
Anyway, I found the play to make a very interesting comment on our society. The basic plot is the "back-story" of the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz (adapted from the book of the same name). It cleverly weaves all the characters from the original movie and tries to explain why this witch was Wicked--if she even was wicked at all. The part I really liked about this was that it flushed out many of our culture's bias based on appearance (the witch was born green) and the herd mentality of believing someone is a villian based on popular opinion. The facet of this that gets under my skin just a bit is the pervasive notion that if someone is doing something wrong, it is because of something in their past that "made them that way" which tends to undermine personal responsibility. To be fair to the play, the "wicked" witch really was good and it was others around her that made her appear bad, but the idea is still there. Has anyone seen this or read the book?