Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Awesome Female Role Models- Elphaba

For musical theatre nerds like myself, the last few weeks have been pretty exciting.

The musical Wicked has celebrated their 10 year anniversary. Which is crazy to me. Was it really ten years ago when my mom called me into the living room to watch the "Defying Gravity" performance on the Tony Awards?

Wicked has made a huge mark on pop culture. It's opened people's eyes to musical theatre in a new way and in a way began to make it "cool" to like theatre. Even if someone hasn't seen the show, they've probably heard references to "Defying Gravity," "Popular," and "For Good." Some people are sick and tired of it because it's become so popular. Others can't get enough and have gone to see it on stage every time they have the opportunity. While others (like myself) are somewhere in the middle.

Usually when someone talks about the show I slightly roll my eyes. While I appreciate it and enjoy it, I wonder why people won't talk about all of the other awesome shows out there. Then once the song "Defying Gravity" starts to play I'm belting my heart out wishing I was a green witch. As much as I hate to be "part of the crowd"... I really do love this show.

So, today, I am featuring one of Wicked's leading ladies as our awesome female role model of the week. Our favorite green girl - Elphaba.

(And I'll be basing this off of the musical, not the book. Unpopular opinion: I didn't think the book was all that great and was glad the musical was way different.)

When the audience first meets Elphaba it's obvious she's different from everyone else. Well... she's green first of all. She doesn't fit in with everyone else because even on top of being green, she also has magical powers and loves to read and go to museums. (Which gives her bonus points in my book.) Her sister, Nessa, is in a wheelchair and it's Elphaba's job to take care of her. She has never been the "favorite" daughter... just the weird magical green one. Yet, she still has a hope inside of her. A hope that someday the Wizard will notice her and she can do some good in the world without people looking at her like she's a freak.

Due to mix-up with housing at school, Elphaba ends up being roommates with the blond and bouncy (and snobby) Galinda. (WITH A GA!) Immediately, Elphaba hates her. Yet, in spite of their differences and Galinda's snobby ways...they become friends. Elphaba even lets Galinda give her a makeover. She pretends she doesn't want it, but we all know secretly she does. She likes that Galinda wants to be her friend and craves her acceptance. Because if Galinda accepts her, maybe everyone else will too. This friendship is the heart and core of the show. They go through multiple ups and downs. They fight, argue, steal each others boyfriends, and half of the time they hate one another. Yet, through it all, they learn to forgive and make peace. Elphaba knows in spite of everything, their friendship is important and has made a bigger difference in her life than she realized, and is forever grateful.

Elphaba also has an interesting relationship with her professor, Doctor Dillamond. What's interesting is that... he's a goat. But Elphaba doesn't care. There is discrimination against the Animals and are looked down on. But Elphaba doesn't care. She has a soft spot for Animals and wants to help them. It is Doctor Dillamond who inspires Elphaba to try and make a change in the world.

Elphaba has had her share of disappointments and hurts in life. Yet, in spite of that, she still has an awesome dry sense of humor, hopes, and dreams. Even if she doesn't want anyone else to see her thoughts. Yes, she is bitter and angry and hurt most of the time. But she still has a heart of gold on the inside. She doesn't want to admit how great she really is, but other people like Galinda, Fieyro, and Doctor Dillamond see her for who she really is and want her to shine.

Also, she nabbed Fieyro who is awesome & hot. So... clearly she has something going for her. ;)
Elphaba Won't back down from what she believes. Even when the wizard disappoints her and shows his true colors, she isn't about to back down from standing up for the rights of the Animals. Even when Glinda/Galinda won't go with her, she still makes her own path. People will hate her and shun her even more than they already do, but she still sticks to her guns. Ultimately, this does lead to her downfall. Her methodology of going about helping the Animals isn't the bed. She makes choices out of desperation and and overwhelming desire to protect the people she loves. Her heart is in the right place, even if she makes some poor choices as a result. But she will still sacrifice everything for what she believes in and sticks to her guns. She refuses to go by other peoples standards and does what she knows is right. Something we all can learn from.

Yet in the end, Elphaba realizes her shortcomings. She knows where she went wrong. She knows where she has failed and how limited she is. Because we're all limited to an extent. She knows when to pass the torch to Galinda. It's tragic how it has to end and the point Elphaba gets to, but it's also good to know when you need to pass something on to someone else. We all have our shortcomings and limitations and need to accept them. It's when we see them we become strong.

Awesome Quotes:
- Well, we can't all come and go by bubble!
- I clash with everything.
- Okay, let's get this over with. I'm not seasick, yes I've always been green, no I didn't eat grass as a child.
- Now wait just a clock tick! I know it may be difficult for that blissful, blonde brain of yours to comprehend that someone like him could actually choose someone like me! But it's happened... it's real. And you can wave that ridiculous wand all you want, you can't change it! He never belonged to you, he doesn't love you, and he never did! He loves me!
- I'm the other daughter, Elphaba. Beautifully tragic.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- Toss toss!
- I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game.
- It's time to try defying gravity.
- Was I really seeking good, or only seeking attention? Is that all good deeds are when looked at with an ice cold eye?
- Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
- Just don't lose sight of who you are.
- 'Cause once you're with the wizard, no one thinks you're strange.
- Don't wish, don't start. Wishing only wounds the heart.
- He could be that boy, but I'm not that girl.
- You shouldn't let ignorant statements like that bother you. I mean I always do, but you shouldn't.
- I want to always remember this moment. Always. Nobody's staring. Nobody's pointing. For the first time, I'm somewhere... I belong.
- You'll be with me like a hand-print on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine, by being my friend.
- And if it turns out it's over too fast, I'll make every last moment last, as long as you're mine.

What are other things that you love about our favorite flying green witch with a heart of gold?

And because I really want to type all of the lyrics from "Defying Gravity" here's the whole song as sung by the AMAZING Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth who happen to be two "real life" awesome role models.


  1. I LOOOOOVE Wicked the musical. Saw it in Indy a few years ago and absolutely bawled my eyes out during "Defying Gravity..." actuall come to think of it, I bawl every time I hear that song.

  2. I heart wicked! Remember we saw it together? I hope to see it now that it's back in chicago


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