It Ain’t Oz Without Midgets! Buzz’s ‘Wicked’ Review
The Broadway musical “Wicked” has been playing in El Paso and it has been the talk of the town. I’ve seen it twice and it really is incredible. You should see it if you haven’t already.
“Wicked” is being promoted as “The story of Oz before Dorothy decided to drop in.” That’s not really accurate. It’s really what happened before, during and after Dorothy’s visit.
As I said, it’s really an awesome spectacle but, since it is supposed to be a corollary to the 1939 film, I couldn’t help noticing a few discrepancies between the play and the movie.
Here are four plot points that I couldn’t find a way to resolve:
Munchkins are not very Munchkin-ey
One of the secondary lead characters is a Munchkin named Boq who is in love with the Wicked Witch’s sister. This is what Boq looks like:
Ok. He’s probably not going to leave Broadway to play power forward for the Knicks. He’s not munchkin-like. He’s not even wee!
Here’s is what a Munchkin looks like:
That’s Judy Garland, who stood about 5’5”, playing Dorothy. This Munchkin is topping out at almost 2 feet shorter than Judy Garland. This means … Munchkins = midgets!! Not “guys of average stature” or “fellas a little on the squirty side.” Midgets!
Let me answer you if you are saying “Oh, please! You do realize this is just a play, don’t you??”
Yes. Yes, I do. But it’s a play I paid $250 dollars to see, and, I’m sorry, I just didn’t buy a 5’8” guy as, not only a Munchkin, but the only Munchkin in the whole play!!
You mean in all of New York City they couldn’t find one midg … I mean … "little person" who could carry a tune and recite a dozen lines? Please … in 1939, they were able to find, like, SIXTY of the little guys!
And doesn’t it make you feel at least a little bit sorry for the poor, aspiring thespian of stunted stature? How must he have taken this casting decision? "Well, I can’t play Jean Valjean … Phantom of the Opera, no … a Munchkin?! The role I was born to play!" His tiny little heart must’ve been broken.
THE NEXT ONE IS A BIG SPOOOOOOOIIIIILEEERRRR!
A Tiny Munchkin Does NOT Turn Into a Full-Sized Tin Man
This one has to do with Boq, the Munchkin, again. Let’s assume that my first points was correct and Boq should’ve been played by Peter Dinklage. In the play, the Wicked Witch turns Boq into a Tin man…in order to save his life. Let’s compare the size of a Munchkin to the size of the Tin Man, again using Judy Garland for ratio aspect …
According to Lavoisier’s Law of Conservation of Mass and the Proust Law of Definite Proportions, “nothing comes from nothing.” Meaning, a body of matter cannot disappear completely, nor can a body of matter be created from a lesser mass of matter.
In other words, where did all that metal and other stuff come from??
ANOTHER HUUUUUGE SPOILER (Actually, you probably shouldn’t even be reading this if you plan on going to see Wicked at any point in the future.)
Why Does the Wicked Witch try to Kill her One True Love??
Elphaba, the Wicked Witch, has to cast a spell changing her beloved, Fyero, into a Scarecrow. Yes, THAT Scarecrow. She does this in order to save his life.
So why does she turn into a psycho girlfriend and try to kill him with a ball of fire? Remember? Right after Dorothy and the Scarecrow find the Tin-man?
“Here, Scarecrow! Want to play ball??”, I think her words were. Also, she threatens to use him to stuff a mattress! Some love story.
Now that I think of it, I’ve had a girlfriend or two who could turn into and evil witch intent on my destruction on a moments notice. None of them ever tried to set me on fire or make a mattress out of me but one keyed my ’89 Chevy Beretta one time and another one took my boom-box and all my Midnight Star cassettes that I’ll never see again. So I guess having this one isn’t necessarily a contradiction, per se.
A Full-Out Race War is Going to Break Out After the Play Ends. You Realize That, Don’t You?
I’ll try to keep this brief. One of the reasons the Wicked Witch rebels is because of the treatment of the animals in Oz at the hands of the cruel Wizard. The Wizard strips the intelligent, anthropomorphic animals in Oz of their rights and, ultimately, of their ability to speak. The animals revert to their brutish natural (or possibly unnatural, given the context) state of existence. At the end, though, the Wizard is defeated and his anti-animal policies presumably rescinded.
Everybody lives happily ever oh-no-they-don’t-because-there is going to be hell to pay at the paws of some very pissed off animals. I’m talking about species riots, revenge and full-on ethnic cleansing. You think the Serbs and Croats or the Hutus and the Tutsi carried a grudge? What’s going to happen when Flying Effing Monkeys get a chance at a little payback? The Yellow Brick Road will run red with the blood of everyone who ever disrespected or dehumanized an animal. You know what a Munchkin looks like to a pissed-off talking lion, don’t you? This …
Finally, I know that there’s a book called “Wicked”. I haven’t read it. So, if you’re going to write to correct me because something in this post was explained in the book, save your breath. I’m admitting freely I haven’t read the book and I don’t plan to. One movie and one play is about all the Wizard of Oz I have room for in my life.