I do not, as a rule, like musicals. I tend to laugh when people spontaneously break into song and have found that often I lose track of the plot as I try to listen to the lyrics. So when the wife stated unequivocally that we were to attend a showing of WICKED before it left LA, I found myself trapped without an excuse. Again, this is not my normal sort of musical interest and I went in to the whole thing a bit skeptical, but if millions of people have enjoyed it then who was I to be a stick in the mud.
Of course, since I am writing about it it must mean I either really liked it or really hated it. So I was very surprised at just how much I did like it. The music is not at all operatic (one of my major complaints with some musical theatre is the need of the singers to over dramatize because they are acting) and had enough hooks to keep you humming. The staging was magnificent and the story was very inventive (for those that don't know it's the story of the Wizard of Oz told from the witches' perspective). But the real test was would I listen to the music after the images died down in my head.
So, I went a got the soundtrack of the Broadway show and put it on the ole' iPod to see if I would click to it at a later date. Sure enough, yesterday I found myself scrolling to what I think is the best song of the collection, a soaring ballad called "Defying Gravity" which is the central song of the play and has a melody that is as infectious as any pop song. While I have not necessarily replayed the whole thing yet, this one song has transcended the genre to be just another song in my collection, which is quite a feat in and of itself.