It all started in October last year, at the end of the show that the actresses Myra Ruiz It is Fab Bang they performed together at Teatro Santander with musical theater repertoire – after the encore, they drove the audience of fans crazy by announcing that in five months they would once again star in the show that definitely marked their careers and which created an incomparable legion of fans: Wicked. They also revealed that the first tickets for the show would already be on sale at the box office of that same theater as soon as people left.
“That same night, practically all tickets for the premiere were sold”, comments Myra, about the show this Thursday, 9. “It is basically an audience that did not see the first production, in 2016, knowing only images available on YouTube.” Yes, young fans that feed an idolization for Myra and Fabi. “It’s a huge demand for affection from a community created especially around Wicked“, observes Fabi.
In fact, the detail was even noticed by the lyricist Stephen Schwartzlegendary American composer (Pippin, godspell), who came to São Paulo to check out the Brazilian production. “They have a chemistry on stage that I’ve rarely seen,” he told the Estadão (read more below).
Schwartz came to see the national production because it is not a replica, that is, it does not faithfully follow all the precepts of the original version, which premiered on Broadway in October 2003. He made a few guesses, but was delighted with the production produced by the Instituto Artium de Cultura , in co-production with Atelier de Cultura.
There are several innovations, ranging from details of the sparks that come out of the hands to one of the most anticipated scenes, when Myra herself flies over the audience, in the most anticipated moment of the show. the essence of Wicked, however, was preserved “or maybe I didn’t accept the invitation to come back”, jokes Fabi – only she and Myra are remnants of the 2016 version, which attracted more than 340 thousand people. The current one has already sold more than 40,000 tickets.
Wicked shows the unknown side of the classic The Wizard of Oz – before Dorothy knew the world of the Wizard of Oz, two girls accidentally crossed paths: one was beautiful and popular and the other, smart and… green. The story of how these two unlikely friends became Glinda (Fabi), the Good Witch of the North, and Elphaba (Myra), the Wicked Witch of the West, is the starting point of the musical, based on the novel of the same name, Published in 1995 by Gregory Maguire.
“Over time, I discovered that Elphaba is a rich, complex character, who seeks her emancipation even if it can bring bitterness”, comments Myra who, like the rest of the cast, received freedom from the show’s director, Canadian John Stefaniuk to make suggestions. “That helped, because I identify with Elphaba as a woman, tracing a path of emancipation.”
The reasoning is completed by Fabi. “John wanted to value representativeness, especially of the green girl, who is not accepted for being different, but fights for her space”, says the interpreter of Glinda, who shares with Elphaba an interest in the same boy, Fiyero, played by Tiago Barbosa. “It’s the first time that the character has been played by a black actor, which makes me proud”, says the actor.
“The play talks about tolerance, which makes it more and more current if we look at what is happening around us”, he comments. Marcelo Medici, who lives the Wizard of Oz. “That’s why it enchants the young public,” he adds. Cleto Baccic, who lives Dr. Dillamond the goat.
”Wicked’ is an essentially political show’
Wicked is one of the biggest hits in the history of broadwaybut even so, the American composer Stephen Schwartz says that he did not believe in the potential of the show. “I had little hope at first,” he tells the Estadãoduring his visit to São Paulo.
Didn’t have expectations?
There is a difference between a play that is a hit and one that becomes a phenomenon. At first, success came only in San Francisco. But we soon discovered that the musical came at just the right time in showing two young women coming to life at a time when the idea of female empowerment was emerging in our culture.
Are you attracted to outsider characters?
A lot, I’m interested in people who don’t feel well in society. We need to feel like members of a community, and when that doesn’t happen, the person withdraws. Hence the importance of giving relevance to characters who fight for this space.
The song Defying Gravity is one of the best known in the musical, especially for its empowering message.
When I wrote this song, I already felt the strength of its lyrics. That’s when Elphaba realizes that she will only ever be seen as a bad person, which leads her to transform into the Witch of the West. The song has a chord progression that evokes rising power and I was looking for a different flavor.
Is Wicked a political play?
Absolutely, especially when we look at the current polarity. I see this a lot in the US. It was the press that first noticed the culturally politicized attitude of the show.
And what do you think about the Brazilian assembly?
I was impressed with many details, as it is an unprecedented show, with new ideas. But the chemistry between Myra Ruiz and Fabi Bang enchanted me, something rare. They add a special touch to the show.
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