The Wicked Witch of the West has flown back to Manila. Just after three years since the popu-u-lar musical hit the Philippine stage for the first time at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, “Wicked” has returned with a fantastimazing ensemble that just finished a successful UK tour. Staged this time at the Theatre at Solaire, the show is nothing short of spectacular, and you would never imagine how blessed I was to be able to see it on its second showing night, 3 February 2017.
I was in third year college when “Wicked” debuted in the country. Having just found love with musical theatre, I was so hyped back then to watch the show. However, important school work forced me to waste my ticket, and I was devastated. After the tragedy, I told myself, “One day, I will be able to see the Wicked Witch on her flying broomstick. One day.”
When the second Philippine tour was announced, I knew that the opportunity I have been waiting for has arrived. I eagerly purchased a ticket with my friend around five months before the show’s opening. Yeah, that was how excited I was. I even vowed to myself that no matter what happens, I will never, never miss watching the musical.
But Fate once more decided to play games on me. You see, I almost never made it to the show. Again. But wait, there is more to it. I nearly missed the musical not for one, not for two, but for THREE different reasons. Imagine! Can you top that?
First, I was bit by the chicken pox bug.
Two weeks prior to the show I was supposed to see, I was infected by the Varicella zoster virus and fell very ill. A gazillion number of blisters appeared on practically every inch of my body, and they seemed attracted so much to my [Fiyero-like] face. I thought I would not recover in time for the show.
Alas, just a few days before 3 February, the chicken pox scabs began to fall off my face. I was so exhilarated to see the first scab be replaced by an equally awful scar. Well, at least I was better. I thought, “They are just scars now. Despite them, I would definitely be able to watch the show.”
However, fate still had two more tricks brewing in her pot of green elixir, and I never knew. When the night of the show finally came, my spirit had already skyrocketed and hit the blue sky. Dressed in black like the Wicked Witch, I booked an Uber ride going to Solaire.
On my way though, I found myself stuck in a hellish traffic jam.
It was a Friday night, and why have I not thought of the possible traffic Armageddon that usually plagued the thoroughfares of Manila on such a night? Well, probably it was because my good friend Waze told me that if I left at six in the evening, I would make it just before seven, and the show was at eight. He was terribly wrong.
As my Uber ride joined the massive sea of blinding red lights, I knew it – I was doomed. I would be late. Right then and there, I already considered purchasing another ticket just to see the show in its full emerald glory. But I also thought of a better idea.
I began to pray. I invoked the intercession of both Saints Rita, Patron of the Impossible, and Jude, Patron of Hopeless Cases. I asked God to clear the way for me. Lo and behold, like Moses parting the waters, the traffic eased and the cars started moving. I was so grateful that my prayer was heard!
I arrived at the venue 30 minutes before the show started. When I did, I felt a chill run down my spine. “This is it”, I thought, “I am already here at the Theatre. What else could go wrong?” Ha! I should have known better.
Well, I only left my ticket at my apartment.
The most stupid and unimaginable thing had happened to me. Of all the things that I could have left behind, it had to be my ticket. What a pathetic creature I was! In just a matter of seconds, the world around me began to collapse, and I felt myself melting away. I even imagined Fate laughing most wickedly at my idiocy.
I almost gave up, but an idea sparked in my head. I approached the box office and showed them the electronic receipt for my ticket purchase. Although I have claimed the tickets already before, the staff printed a new pair for me and my friend [even if she still had her original ticket]. Yay! Take that, Fate. I won.
With a grin, I entered the theater and found my way to my seat; and as the lights began to dim and the first few notes began to play, I was transported to the magical Land of Oz.