Many months ago my friend from high school Ruth Marx (not his real name; I’ve christened him Ruth Marx because he was the only one who knows who Ruth Marx is) bought two tickets for the musical Wicked. Then he learned that his supposed date couldn’t get a leave from work and told me that if his next options wouldn’t make it he would take me. I’m not into stage plays and musicals as I’ve fallen asleep in the few I’ve seen (ie, Wizard of Oz where Smoketh and Frichmond had to wake me up repeatedly in Greenbelt many years ago). Last week Ruth has confirmed that there was no one else to take, so I jumped at the chance. I always jump at the chance to get free stuff, a skill I’ve honed in fellowship training.
Being a person with no culture and breeding, I know only two things about Wicked: it has Defying Gravity as sung in Glee, and that it’s a prequel of The Wizard of Oz. As expected I’ve seen a lot of PGH people in the area. While waiting near the fountain area who should run zipping past me but someone who looked like… Frichmond. She whizzed by so fast (expert jogger na) so I decided to wait until she got back up in the circular track before I scream “Frichmond!” Frichmond-look-alike did not return, and as it turned out Frichmond-look-alike was indeed Frichmond. Whenever I see Frichmond I taste cold beer in my mouth. This is learned behavior as Frichmond has been my only drinking
buddy in the past two years in Whore House. During the twenty-minute break I saw Bubble, but was not able to call her as she was running to the ladies’ room, and I was also running to the men’s room. I also saw M.Q.M, but I think he was conversing intently with a date so I’ve decided not to bother them. I also saw Fungelya, but we hated him back in residency so there was no point in being perfunctory.
There were so many wealthy-/cultured-/bourgeois-looking people in the waiting area, and whenever I’m surrounded by these sorts of people I get the urge to ask loudly, “San po ang kubeta?” As we were waiting for the show to start inside the theater I continued looking around the audience asking Ruth, “Ay, bakit walang artista o sikat na tao? Bakit walang Kapuso? Ajejejejeje.” I now can’t tell if I’m being earnest or just making fun of jeje-ness.
“Ayun o, si Justice Secretary Leila de Lima,” Ruth said. I got thrilled at the prospect of seeing a famous person but when I turned around, it was not Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Kamukha lang.
The show finally started and I was amazed at the entire look of the musical–the props, costumes, etc. We were five rows away from the stage so we got to see a lot of details. In my head, stage play props always consist of crepe paper, cartolina, sequins from National Bookstore, and painted styrofoam, but this was not the case. It pays to be inosente (in the derogatory sense)—the feeling of amazement and wonder is thrilling, something I haven’t felt since those elementary field trips to the Planetarium and UP Diliman. And the voices, I didn’t think people could sing that high. By the time it was Defying Gravity I was completely won over, and I now understand those people I’ve longed thought of as O.A. who travel to Singapore just to watch this musical.
There was a bit of down time after the break, but things started to pick up again quickly. During one of the most poignant performances, the one where the two witches were singing change for good, you could feel the audience getting drawn in, some were sobbing. The air was thick with emotion until, a few seats from me, there was a sudden loud CRASH!–a chair collapsed from the weight of a huge guy in the audience. Everyone got distracted for two seconds and glanced at the source of the infernal sound, but quickly focused their attention back at the stage. For a few minutes the humongous, corpulent guy sitting on it couldn’t move–he got stuck in the crashed chair.
Crashing sound from a broken chair due to high BMI aside, Wicked was one bad-ass motherfucker. Magaling, Alfalfa and Belinda, magaling.