Why do people hate Wicked?

Trainwreck Profile Photo
Trainwreck
#1Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 6:44pm

First of all - Wicked is my favorite musical I have ever seen on stage or film. It's incredible, and my only regret is not seeing it the last time I visited Broadway (because it still had the original cast).

That being said, I notice that there seem to be a pretty large group of people on this board, and on other sites online, that are pretty outspoken about how much they dislike it. Perhaps I just notice it more because of how much I am attached to the show.

But why is it that so many people decidedly despise this masterpiece? Is it out of pure hatred toward anything "mainstream" or "popular" (pun intended). Or is it merely a difference in taste?

I'm curious to know why some theater geeks seem to not like this show despite the incredible figures it brings in every week.


Shows Seen - Swing!**, Rent (Broadway)**, The Lion King***, Wicked*****, Legally Blonde***, Chicago****, Cats***, Fiddler on the Roof***, Burn the Floor**, In the Heights***, Hair*****, A Christmas Story**, Rock of Ages***, Vanities*, Billy Elliot****, Next to Normal*****, 9 to 5**, Mary Poppins***, Guys and Dolls***, Aladdin***, Les Miserables*****

Upcoming Shows - Cinderella, Oklahoma!, Damn Yankees, Rent

Paramount Theater and 5th Avenue Theater season ticket holder

Proud Gleek

Scott Briefer
#2Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 6:52pm

I happen to like Wicked a lot, but having typed that, I must confess that the second act is sort of a mess.

ColorTheHours048 Profile Photo
ColorTheHours048
#2Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 6:57pm

It brings in incredible numbers because it's a family-friendly spectacle. It's got a fun score with eye-popping sets and costumes. But my praise for it ends there. It is FAR from a masterpiece. I enjoy the show for what it is: fun.

It's about as deep as a puddle, but it's message is a nice one for young kids. The plot holes are about a mile wide and the book is total sitcom mush. The score is fun, but totally slight.

Just because it draws big numbers and high attendance doesn't mean it's good. It means it has an appeal. I like it just fine. But if you want to talk "masterpieces", check out SWEENEY TODD, SOUTH PACIFIC, CABARET, GUYS AND DOLLS, GYPSY, A CHORUS LINE, HAIR, and even URINETOWN.

dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
#3Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 6:59pm

I don't hate it, but it's no where NEAR one of my favorite shows.


Everyone will have their own reasons for their dislike which will range greatly.

Reasons that I don't think it's "all that"?
-- All spectacle, little substance
-- Predictable and trite story
-- Music that lacks finesse
-- Performances that lack much interpretation: as they are pretty two dimensional

There's more....but I'm tired.


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.

adamgreer Profile Photo
adamgreer
#4Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 7:02pm

You will find no greater fan of Wicked on this board than I.

However, ColortheHours post is 100% accurate and correct. I enjoy the show immensely for what it is, but have never used Wicked and masterpiece in the same sentence. It's a fun, mindless spectacle that is a showcase for two female performers.

It's not the great disaster or insult to Broadway some of the high and mighty here try to make it out to be, but it's also not the masterpiece some of the teens think it is.

Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
Bettyboy72
#5Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 7:08pm

I really didn't like WICKED at first, but after several repeated viewings (thanks LOTTO) with different actresses, it has its merits. I think Idina was one of the weakest actresses IMO.

I agree with what everyone has said in terms of negatives, but aside from that I always find myself entertained. Plus, I find it interesting to see new actresses play the roles and seeing how well the Elphaba does on the money notes.

Plus some of those songs like the Wizard and I and No Good Deed are just thrilling to watch an amazing singer wail on.

Oh and for the record, I think different actors can bring more to the part. When I saw it in SF with Vicky Noon and Nicholas Dromard as Elfie and Fiyero there was some serious eroticism that I had never seen before. During "As Long As You're Mine" there was some serious rubbing and grabbing of backsides and frontsides and packages. Their choices were great and they brought some needed heat to the partnership. You clearly saw what was lacking between Fiyero and Glinda.


"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello

Mamie Profile Photo
Mamie
#6Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 7:19pm

I honestly don't understand why anyone either loves or hates it. It's neither good enough to love nor bad enough to hate (IMHO). I saw it once - with the original cast - and walked away understanding why the kids loved it. I was completely underwhelmed myself (I couldn't even remember a single song in it) but I made sure to get a ticket for my niece when I brought her to NY a couple of years ago. Sure enough, she loved it.


www.thebreastcancersite.com
A click for life.
mamie4 5/14/03

blaxx Profile Photo
blaxx
#7Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 7:28pm

Trainwreck calls Wicked a masterpiece, lol.

Stephen Schwartz could use that Tony, for he's never won before, you could save a starving writeeeer...


Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE

TreyKenyon Profile Photo
TreyKenyon
#8Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 7:29pm

Count me in as another fan of Wicked (seen it four times now), but I feel its the attitude that "Wicked is the greatest piece of theater in history" and other such statements that make people loathe it and many of its fans. Don't get me wrong, I always fit Wicked into my list of shows when I head to NYC but it isn't for a great story or piece of theatrical art. I always recommend it to people because it is guaranteed to impress/entertain 95% of the people who see it. It simply comes down to spectacle and "huge-ness" of it all lol. That said, I feel part of the spectacle is the score. I know many people attack it but IMO to hear Elphaba's three big songs live is worth the ticket price. Those songs, as well as quite a bit of the rest of the songs, are big, loud, in-your-face numbers and people (myself proudly included) eat that stuff up.


Wicked Tour (2/26/08); Wicked Bway (7/1/08); HAIR (7/1/09); Rock of Ages (7/2/09); Wicked Bway (7/3/09); Mary Poppins Tour (8/2/09); Wicked Tour (11/18/09); Wicked Tour (12/5/09)

Marianne2 Profile Photo
Marianne2
#9Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 8:00pm

I'm going to agree with you, Mamie. I would go see it again because I didn't like the seat I was in the only time I have seen it, but I don't feel the need to see it a million times or really bash it.


"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates

Mr Roxy Profile Photo
Mr Roxy
#10Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 8:07pm

I do not hate it but think it is vastly overrated

It also sports some of the ugliest sets I can remember.


Poster Emeritus

Trainwreck Profile Photo
Trainwreck
#11Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 8:14pm

All in the eyes and opinion of the beholder, right blaxx? How can you call it otherwise if it's subjective?


Shows Seen - Swing!**, Rent (Broadway)**, The Lion King***, Wicked*****, Legally Blonde***, Chicago****, Cats***, Fiddler on the Roof***, Burn the Floor**, In the Heights***, Hair*****, A Christmas Story**, Rock of Ages***, Vanities*, Billy Elliot****, Next to Normal*****, 9 to 5**, Mary Poppins***, Guys and Dolls***, Aladdin***, Les Miserables*****

Upcoming Shows - Cinderella, Oklahoma!, Damn Yankees, Rent

Paramount Theater and 5th Avenue Theater season ticket holder

Proud Gleek

Kalimba Profile Photo
Kalimba
#12Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 8:21pm

I just love when a "newbie" joins and somehow always manages to ask the age old question, "why do people hate Wicked?"

blaxx Profile Photo
blaxx
#13Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 8:23pm

Eek, I wouldn't call anything about that pseudo-musical subjective, love.

They broke the Gershwin curse, however, I'll give them that. I guess asking to have a hit in that theater that was actually good was too much to ask. Maybe one day.


Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE

Elphaba3 Profile Photo
Elphaba3
#14Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 9:00pm

Ditto ColortheHours, adamgreer, and TreyKenyon. I've seen it a number of times and it's one of my favorite shows, but it is by no means one of the best.

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
#15Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 9:52pm

Why don't you try telling us what makes you think Wicked IS a masterpiece, aside its box office figures? Because Lion King and Jersey Boys have that in their favor, too. What does it have that shows like Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, My Fair Lady, etc. all lack?


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

Soliantu Profile Photo
Soliantu
#16Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 9:57pm

haha, well I find that's the case with most musicals.. many people love it, many hate it.. in Wicked's case however.. I feel it's pretty loved generally.. They still don't even offer discounted tickets becase they sell so well.

James885 Profile Photo
James885
#17Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 10:05pm

I don't hate Wicked but it's far from a masterpiece. The power ballad heavy score is mostly bland and forgettable save for a couple of numbers. The book is a hot mess, with several plot holes and several underdeveloped characters. Joe Mantello's direction is weak. The show relies on giant flashy sets with all the bells and whistles to cover up the flaws in the material.


"You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!" - Betty Parris to Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Drunk Chita Rivera Profile Photo
Drunk Chita Rivera
#18Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 10:09pm

I don't hate Wicked either, I actually think it's quite a good show. It has flaws, and I think the score is kind of boring aside from 3 or 4 songs. But the main thing that turns me away is the fans and how much it is talked about.

frontrowcentre2 Profile Photo
frontrowcentre2
#19Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 10:20pm

Wicked is my favorite musical I have ever seen on stage or film. It's incredible...

If you like it, enjoy and don't let nay-sayers deter you.

The backlash here is in part a hangover from the days when BWW was new and infiltrated with teen girls fans who felt the need to report every hiccup in the show. There was a time when on a daily basis the majority of new threads were all about WICKED and that irritated people here who saw WICKED as one of 30+ shows on Broadway. It flared up again when it lost the Tony award fueling speculation about underhanded politics on the part of the winning show. (There were none - it was just the majority of Tony voters felt AVE Q was a better overall show.)

Just out of curiosity how old are you? And how many musicals have you seen?


Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

wdwfreak Profile Photo
wdwfreak
#20Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/8/10 at 10:35pm

I saw it a couple of years ago when Julia Murney was Elphaba and HATED it. I went again in February this year and LOVED it. I guess I was too young when I saw it the first time. I am looking forward to going back soon to see Mandy as Elphaba.

RoslynReynolds
#21Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/9/10 at 12:56am

Wicked is the best musical ever, dummy.

Biff AKA Levi Profile Photo
Biff AKA Levi
#22Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/9/10 at 1:54am

I'm wondering what Wicked film the OP talks about in his OP. I never knew they made a Wicked movie.

If WICKED: The musical was more like WICKED: The novel, I would've enjoyed it a lot more. The changes in the story really threw me off.


"I want a lap dance from an octopus."

-JG2

ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
#23Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/9/10 at 2:00am

The book is absolutely awful. Corny and very campy at times. The score mostly sounds like 80's pop. Schwartz rightfully lost the Tony. It's not his best work.
But it is an harmlessly entertaining show. If I am in the mood for a spectacle (which isn't often), I will look to Wicked.
That being said, it's not on my list of favorite shows and never will be. But I do not despise it. I cannot wait to see Mandy!

Updated On: 3/9/10 at 02:00 AM

choitoy Profile Photo
choitoy
#24Why do people hate Wicked?
Posted: 3/9/10 at 7:48am

I don't hate it, but it's not my cup of tea, especially since I read Wicked the novel first (just last year, in prep for seeing Wicked the musical on tour) and ended up liking the very dark and ambiguous themes in the novel (versus the more clearcut and simplified themes in the musical, and the different ending).

But I (and I'm sure there are others) never really like the appeal of runaway blockbusters in any medium (i.e., I have no want or need to watch the movie Titanic or Avatar). I think in my mind, a runaway blockbuster has elements that panders to the greatest common denominator amongst the mass public, and let's face it, most musical theater fanatics that were into the golden age of musicals were always a little bit off of the center. Thusly the backlash against a ginormus hit. Anyway, that's my theory on things.


Xanadu! Can't cry on cue!


Videos