Escaping the confines of the Orange Bubble is always exciting, and even more so when the destination happens to be your favorite city. This past Sunday, I decided to take advantage of Princeton’s suspiciously cheap Broadway tickets and went to see “Wicked” in New York City.
My day began with a rather hectic (but entirely predictable) start, as I woke up at a prompt 10:35 a.m. and was supposed to be at the Wawa parking lot at 10:45 a.m. Given my extensive experience with waking up ten minutes before class in high school, I remained quite calm, answered all of my friends’ panicked phone calls with ease, and began to make myself look slightly presentable. I hustled over to the Wa, realizing that I had unfortunately missed out on an extra half-hour of sleep, as the bus wasn’t scheduled to leave for another thirty minutes.
After arriving in the city, we headed to a cute cafe, and I was immediately amused at the West Coasters’ eagerness to try a New York bagel, speaking as though it was a rare delicacy. As someone who grew up in New Jersey, it was definitely interesting to see how excited people were about seeing their first Broadway show and getting to finally see the city during Christmas. It made me re-appreciate the many wonders of the Big Apple.
We sat down at the Gershwin Theater, and my friend embarrassingly began explaining the story of “The Wizard of Oz” to me, as I’ve never read it. Our conversation about who “Oz” was and what the “Emerald City” was elicited many confused reactions from the people sitting around us, but I’d like to think that my lack of knowledge gave me a fresh perspective on the musical. In reality, it just led to me being lost during much of the performance. During intermission, one of my friends asked how I was liking the show, to which I responded, “I’m just a bit confused as to who’s good and who’s bad.” She laughingly said that that was the entire point of “Wicked,” so I guess I wasn’t too out of the loop.
Despite my lack of background knowledge, I can still say that the performance was absolutely superb. Amanda Jane Cooper’s portrayal of Glinda, or “Ga-linda with a Ga,” as an absurdly ditzy blonde was so amusing that it was perhaps my favorite part of the show. The musical talent was of course mesmerizing, and as someone who considers herself musically-challenged, I sincerely admired and appreciated the performers’ abilities. I was also highly impressed by the set design, and found the mechanical Oz head to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in a show, even though I admit it was a bit terrifying at first.
After heading out of the theater, we decided to walk to Rockefeller Center since one of my friends from California had never seen the famed Christmas tree before. We joined the swarm of tourists, and while we were taking our cute Christmas-y photos, I realized how much I missed coming to New York during the holidays. Whether it was seeing the magnificent Christmas tree for the first time, coming to New York with new friends, or simply learning the story of “The Wizard of Oz,” this trip away from the Orange Bubble was full of exciting moments, and undoubtedly a great way to begin the countdown to winter break.