Before I get to my review, let's get to the most important part. At intermission, I'm reading through the actors' bios and guess who's playing the Wizard? This guy...
Mother-effin' Larry! Awesome.
Okay Spoiler alert is in effect if you haven't seen it and plan to and I'm going to have to strongly suggest you make an effort.
It's probably the most ambitious musical I've ever seen in terms of visual effects and the music is awesome. The talent is of course off the charts (this isn't the Chenowith/Menzel show) but that can pretty much be said for any big time broadway production.
On the surface, it's your basic "don't judge a book by it's cover; beauty is more than skin deep" type of moral. I really had no idea what it was about and despite probably having seen the Wizard of Oz 25-30 times, I never even particularly cared for it. My kid loves it so I bought the tickets.
So I was thinking that it's actually pretty ballsy to try to make an audience buy into it. That movie paints such an extreme type of cartoonish example of good vs. evil and we all saw it as kids and you just eat that thing right up. Glenda epitomizes good and the Wicked Witch of the West epitomizes evil. Pretty is good and ugly is evil...blah, blah, blah. When you get older, you start to realize that there is a gray area there but now they're taking this iconically evil persona and not only saying there's some gray area but that she was the good one? She's just this idealistic person that happens to be misunderstood? It goes against everything we've believed our whole lives. Now, not only do they make this work, but they make it fit into the plot where there isn't even anywhere where you can say that they stretched it. It all sort of just makes sense. I guess this is more a credit to the book than the play but I really thought the whole thing was genius.
As for the water thing, I actually caught onto that at the beginning of the play. Her and the dude she turned to Scarecrow were out in the rain trying to hide the lion cub. Plus, her whole life she never knew there was anything different about her except that she was green. Why would she have never taken a bath or gone in the rain? Of course that pail of water wasn't gonna melt her. She would have melted a long time ago.
Also, when you think about it...she never really did anything bad in that movie. She just wanted her dead sister's magic shoes! Was that really so unreasonable?