IMHO: Wicked

The In My Honest Opinion Series (IMHO) is a series of posts for the purpose of declaring my opinion on certain subjects.  My honest opinion.  (Yes, thank you, Mary.)  These posts will be my totally unbiased, totally unaltered-on-any-grounds opinion.  Each and every one of my readers are entitled to the right to comment below with their own opinion and an argument, if they so desire.  Let us begin.

(Behold.  The first IMHO post!  Seems fitting that a series that has been in my mind so long should start with my now-tied-for-second-favorite musical, Wicked.  C 🙂

The synopsis of Wicked could probably be very (very, very) summarized by saying that it’s about what happened Before Dorothy Dropped In.

Wicked is the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and G(a)linda, the Good Witch of the North, and how they became friends.  They start out simply loathing each other and taking things that don’t belong to them, then ending up both being changed for good.  (Brownie points for everyone who knows how many quotes I just quoted!)

I had never seen Wicked before seeing it on Broadway (which is the best place to see a musical for the first time, btdubs!!), but I’d heard a few of the songs.  Namely because of Ally.  C :  Anyway, when I heard that I was going to be able to see a musical on Broadway (then wheedled my way into seeing two, muahahaha…), I first thought of Wicked.

Before seeing it, the only things I knew about it were a) it had been running on Broadway since 2003, peeps, b) the two (give or take) songs I’d listened to from it were astonishing (excuse the quote from another musical), c) my friend saw it when she was in NYC yeeeears ago and said it was good, and d) many people who had seen it or listened to it that I knew and respected (*cough*Ally*cough*) absolutely loved it.

So I thought, ‘Heyyyy….  Might as well, deeds!’  (Okay, enough quoting from things other than Wicked!)

Now we come to the IMHO part.


From the opening notes (y’all know what I’m talking about) to the closing of the curtain after the bows, I was totally enraptured in all of it.

I loved a great many things about this musical.  First of all, I LOVED my cast.  Lindsay Mendez (GRACIOUS SAKES….  she had SUCH a powerful voice!), Tiffany Haas (who was an understudy, by the way, and I won’t go into my theory in understudies and just say that, nine times out of ten, I’ve observed they play the part better than the person who is actually cast for the role!), Derek Klena (WOW….  Let me just say…. his “Let the green girl go!” was allllllmost as good as Aaron’s!), Carol Kane (as Madame Morrible….  Don’t recognize her name?  Does “Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink!” ring a bell???) and allll the rest….  I was literally just BLOWN AWAY.

During the intermission, my dad and I stepped out to get a drink (non-alcoholic….), my dad looked at me and said, “Wow….  That was actually…. pretty good.”  That made me really surprised, cuz, HELLO, this is the guy who watches most of the movies I love and hold dear to my heart and says they’re “cute.”

I won’t go through all of the songs and tell you which were my favorite (I’ll just list the ones I really like – No One Mourns the Wicked through Finale: For Good (Reprise)!), I’ll just say that I loved all of them.  C :  The one I sing the most, howevs, is probably The Wizard and I.  Just cuz.  C :

Now for the extremely biased part.

I hope you guys agree with me about how amazing this was after seeing all of these videos.  If not, feel free to start a comment war.  I have my caps lock ON.)

Lindsay Mendez singing ‘The Wizard and I’
Derek Klena and Lindsay Mendez singing ‘As Long As You’re Mine’
Lindsay Mendez singing ‘No Good Deed’
(Hey…  I really love her voice….)
Tiffany Haas singing ‘Popular’ (with Anne Brummel)
(Not from Wicked, obviously, but it gives you a glimpse of what a great voice he has!)
 (I can’t post this video here….  : (((((  Just click the link.  Click it.  Do it.)
 Tiffany Haas and Lindsay Mendez singing ‘What Is This Feeling?’
(The picture is of the best cast EVAH)
I wishwishwiiiiish there was a video of them singing this….  They played off each other soooo well!!!
 And here are some pictures to make y’all completely and totally jealous.  C :

The usual cast….

Plus one of the sweetest ladies on the planet!

The wall was painted with the map of Oz.
And everything in the theater was green, which, if any of you really know me, you’ll know it’s my favorite color.
So I was literally in heaven.  C :

The staaaage….

Okay, this is too cool to be in a caption.  We were right on the edge of the balcony, front Mezz left, and we had a reeeeally good view of practically everything.  The rope hanging from the ceiling on the far right was where the first personal flying monkey (sorry…. couldn’t resist!) came down, the black shape on the stage to the right of it is a small trap door, and the ramp on the right of the stage leads down to another trap door which the cast uses frequently.  When I took the picture, I was like, “It’s a TRAPDOOR, DAD!  This is going to be AWESOME!!!”
Meeting the Cast.  C :
(If you’re already turning green [heehee…. green….], you can just stop now.  Cuz it’ll only get worse.)

Me and Catherine Charlebois, who played Nessarose.  So good!

Me and Derek Klena, who played Fiyero.  (Stop gushing, KarMarie….)

Me and Tiffany Haas, who played G(a)linda.  She was so sweet!  She stayed and talked with my dad and I for the longest.  : )
Me and Lindsay Mendez, who played the green girl herself!
The stuffs I got.  C :

My autographed Playbill.  (Which is an ACTUAL Playbill, by the way!!)
My autographed Playbill, cont’d.

The cup that is ONLY sold at the Gershwin.

I use it every day.  No joke.

Well, that’s Wicked.  IMHO.

Care to comment?


NYC: Day Two

(Sorry it’s taken me so long…  School….  Anywhoz, here bees Day Two!)

Day Two: Wonders Like I’ve Never Seen
Dad and I got up semi-early, visited the post office next door, and started making our way into the city.  There was literally so much to see.

Macy’s.  THE Macy’s.  I’m not a shopper, but if any of you are… be jealous.  C :

The Empire State Building!

The Empire State Building was soooo tall!!  It’s great to look at from the ground… which is where I wanted to stay… so it was all good.  : )

The Starbucks on the first floor of The Empire State Building.  (I got Arwen a NYC mug from here, and she “LOVES IT!”  She claims she alternates between it and her North Carolina one.)

Grand Central Station!  Celebrating 100 years.

Before I go on, I need to explain something.  My mom is a huge Meg Ryan fan, and after we got a ClearPlay (best. thing. ever.), she showed us You’ve Got Mail.  Gracious, I was addicted the first time I saw it!  I mean, what’s not to like?!  Anastasia and Woody fall in love over the 90’s internet!!  Anyway.  It was set in NYC, and after I found out that I was going there, I started making a list of the places it was filmed and making Dad promise we could go.  We didn’t visit Café Lalo (“Well… if you don’t like Kathleen Kelly, I can tell you right now… you ain’t gonna like this girl.”) or Riverside Park on 91st Street (where the famous “Brinkley!” scene was filmed), but we did make it to Bryant Park, where they went through and bought a mango, among other things, and made plans to bump into each other “over there.”  : )  Great scene.  : )  (Disclaimer: There’s some language/objectionable content/STUFF in You’ve Got Mail that isn’t really great, so… yeah.  Totally recommended if you have a ClearPlay or MommyPlay.  I might even do a review.  It’s that good.)

Sooo pretty!
The Stage.  As in, this stage.  Totally totally spazzing out (to borrow a phrase that a friend uses frequently) when I took this picture!!!  Aaron was here!!!

This place is just so gorgeous!  It’s a quiet haven in the middle of all of NYC’s craziness.
 Behold.  I WAS THERE.   : )  After walking around the whole park and discovering that there weren’t any benches, Dad just took my picture in front of a fence.  : )
We left Bryant Park, got a little lost, then headed towards Times Square.

THE PLACE WHERE THE BALL DROPS!!!  (And they keep the year up there just in case the Doctor comes and wants to know what year it is or something….)

Every major Broadway production had its own bus that they put their ads on.  So excited!!  Cinderella didn’t have a whole bus, and it drove by before I could take a picture.  : (

Okay, so then we went into the Disney Store.  (I’m a child at heart.  C 🙂  It was two floors – the first one had Disney/NYC stuff (which I browsed for longer than I needed to but didn’t buy) and Monsters University paraphernalia.  There was an escalator to go upstairs to the (HUGE) second floor.  Check out what was above it!

TANGLED LANTERNS!!  It was hard to take a picture while you’re going down.  They look a ton better in real life.

The Hershey Store!!
To the right, outside of the frame, was the M&M Store.  Heehee….

This is where we ate dinner.  Sooooo good!

We stopped to eat lunch before our 2pm showing of Wicked (GAHHHH!!!!) at about noon and didn’t want to be late.  We had no idea where we were in relation to the Gershwin and I wanted to be there by 1:15 (to allow time for fangirly gushing over the theater), so we just stopped and decided we’d find it later.  When I was done eating, I decided to take a picture of the sign, looked out the window in front of me, and CHECK OUT WHAT I SAW.

GAHHHHH!!!!!  I was literally bouncing in my seat, pointing it out to Dad.  We left the pizza place and headed towards the Gershwin.
Okay, so I uploaded all of my Wicked pictures, then decided that it needed its own post.  I mean, TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS!!!!  Seriously.  (I then took all the photos down and found out that they made up of, like, half my post!  Ha!)  So that post will be posted SOON.  I can’t wait to tell you all what I thought, so it’ll definitely be soon!

We ate dinner at Carnegie Deli, where we had a huuuuuuge sandwich!  So yummy!

World’s Largest Hershey Bar in the Hershey Store!  Stopped in here to get a Reese’s shirt for my younger sister, “Beatrice.”

The ads in Times Square were just…. awesome.  : )

See what I mean???  Cinderella and Newsies!!!

The theater for The Lion King!  My grandma saw it when she went to NYC and loved it so much, she’s taking us to see it next year!!  (Unfortunately, not in NYC.  Someday, Grandma – SOMEDAY!!!)

After scoping out the area to find the Broadway Theater where Cinderella was playing, we walked back to the hotel, got our luggage, and went to our second hotel….

…Which was significantly smaller.  I enjoyed it, though!  They had a “Galley” on each floor where you could make chai tea and cappuccinos.  I had a mocha cappuccino every night and peppermint tea every morning.  Sooooo yummy….

The view from our window!
Sadly, that’s the end of Day Two.  It seems soooo short because I took out all my Wicked pictures.  : (  Next time, my fellow Ozians – next time!

NYC: Day One

(Heehee….  I can hear you guys squealing….  “Pictures!!”  Yes.  Now hush.)

This is the account of my recent trip to NYC.  I hope you all enjoy.  (And comment lots.)  I’ll try to refrain from squealing and giggling, but I have no doubt that when I get to Days Two and Three (when I saw Wicked and Cinderella, respectively) I won’t be able to contain the fangirlish randomly-pounding-the-keyboard-while-the-caps-lock-is-on.  (If you catch my drift.)


Pre-Trip Stuffs

I think it goes without say that I was excited for about a month before my trip – from the day I graduated to the day we got home.  We’re talking non-stop talking about the trip, complete with watching videos, reading musical synopsises (synopsi?), and searching for the perfect bag – a big one with a zipper on the top and no outside pockets.  (I eventually found the bag, by the way.  It’ll make it’s appearance later on.)

Beforehand (literally the night before we left), my dad and I printed out a huge map of Manhattan and plotted out everything we wanted to see, then wrote out our itinerary on the back.  The thing became as dear to us as…. the holy grail.  Or something extremely necessary.

My awesome suitcase I got for my graduation, plus the “Go Places and See Stuff” luggage tag and bag that I got from my parents, both hints before they told me where we were going.

My Day One outfit, all set out!

My suitcase and its contents.  Take notice of how empty it is, keep that image in the back of your mind, and compare it with the picture of how full my suitcase is upon my arrival at home.

Day One: Welcome to New York

Looking out the window at our plane, TOTALLY EXCITED!!  : D  I’d never been on a plane before, either, so I was more than a little nervous.  (Heehee….  On the plane, I experienced what it was like to be in constant prayer.)

Y’all can’t believe how excited I was to see Lady Liberty.  Not only did it mean that my two-hour ride of pain and agony (and the Penderwick family) was almost over, it also meant that I HAD ARRIVED.


 I’d received some very good advice from a friend that you shouldn’t try to look like a tourist when you go to NYC.  I thought that was brilliant advice and decided to follow it.  However, once we’d entered the airport….  I took out my camera.

iPads, y’all.  This country girl from the sticks was astonished to see iPads with menus at a restaurant.  Seriously.  You picked what you wanted, then played with the apps while you waited.  Minor culture shock ensued.

Yes, we ate at a bar and it was delicious.  Your point is?
(Totally recommend, by the by.  If ever any of you are in NYC….)
My cheeseburger and mashed potatoes from that night.  (Minus the bun.)  Yummmm……

The post office near our hotel – awesome!!  We went inside the next day.

At the very top of our first hotel – the twentieth floor – and sitting as far away from the edge as possible.  : )

The view from the top of the hotel, with Freedom Tower in the background.  SO PRETTY!!

Another view down to the street from the hotel.  : )

After a few phone calls, texts, and a half hour with the Penderwicks, I fell asleep.  In New York City.  Totally excited, hyped, and ready for DAY TWO!!!

Sneak peek:

So excited to share more pictures and stories with all y’all!!!

three letters: nyc

My dad and I with the Statue of Liberty behind us

: )

I have been smiling since….  well, since I can’t remember.  My thoughts right now are much like Rapunzel’s from Tangled“I can’t believe I did this!”

It’s still kind of surreal that I went to New York and saw a Broadway play – two, to be precise!  SO much happened while we were there – memories I’d love to share with all y’all!

The thing is, I have no idea how to do it.  As some of you know, I did a blog series about the time I went to see Les Miserables on stage, but that got very drawn out and took almost a year.  I’m not sure how long the New York Trip Series would take if I tried to do it, but….

Would y’all want a blog series?  Or just the highlights?  Cuz I have so many pictures I want to share….  So. Many. Pictures.  All involving much explaining and giggling and all that.  : )

I think I’ll do a blog series.  Except it’ll just be like my vacation series – with one post per day we spent in the city that never sleeps.  (Literally.  It never slept.  Nor did the people who lived there.  [Except my dad and I, cuz we were so tired from all of the walking we did.])

What say ye?


one day more.

Well, it’s actually more like Half A Day More, but that is neither here nor there.
It’s weird….  Even now, less than twelve hours ’til The Day My Life Begins, it still feels like this entire trip to NYC is just something crazy that my dad and I are doing.  Something in the distant future.  Something so surreal, it’s almost unbelievable.
You see, when I told my parents that I wanted to go to New York to see a Broadway play for my graduation a few months ago, I didn’t really think it’d work out.  It’s too insane, right?  So I asked for my own room, cuz that’s more do-able.  During the hustle and bustle of finishing up school, doing CollegePlus, doing random summer stuff, and going to my grandparents’ house for a week, I completely forgot about asking my parents for a trip to NYC.
Then, when they said that we were actually doing it, I nearly flipped.  I guess you could say I reached for the stars with asking for my own room (which I got, by the way).  A line from the song ‘Anything Can Happen’ from the Broadway version of Mary Poppins comes to mind….
‘Anything can happen if you let it….  If you reach for the stars, all you’ll get are the stars, but we’ve found a whole new spin….  If you reach for the heavens, you’ll get the stars thrown in!’
So, today, I’ve been sending out thank you notes for my many graduation gifts (a month late…. yikes….  My excuse is that I didn’t have any stamps.), doing laundry, packing oh-so-slowly, and just doing random things to prepare.
I’ve been checking on what the weather will look like, asking my dad a million times about airport regulations on contact solution and toothpaste, and basically taking it all one step at a time, just like a friend told me to do at church yesterday.
Well, I have to go now.  I need to finish up something, but I can’t really remember what it was….  : P
(Oh, looky there.  A whole blog post and only one exclamation mark.  Well, I’ll fix that.)
I’m going to NYC in ONE…. DAY………… MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!