Under the Influence – the finale!
All right, it’s time to wrap this puppy up!
It’s time for the big finale….of act one, anyway. (That will only make sense to you if you’ve seen Wicked.)
Last on my list of five songs that have influenced my life…..
Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel/Kristen Chenoweth (Wicked)
I love musical theater. A lot. And Wicked is one of my favorite shows. I have seen it at least four times – it’s possible I’ve lost count – and will see it anytime I have a good opportunity.
It’s not unusual for me to love a show without having any personal connection to it, but with Wicked I identify strongly with Elphaba (the green girl who becomes the “wicked” witch from The Wizard of Oz, for those unfamiliar with the story). True, I don’t have green skin, and that is primarily why Elphaba is ostracized. But as I mentioned back when I was talking about song #2, I definitely felt not quite like everybody else during my formative years. Hell, I still feel that way some of the time. That whole hippie parent thing, being Jewish, feminist, opinionated. I feel like anyone I went to high school with would agree I didn’t really quite fit in. And Elphaba is waiting to find a place where she belongs – I was waiting for that too, certain I would find my people when I went to college – and I did. So I feel a connection.
Also, one of the reasons I just generally love Wicked is because it’s about two strong female characters and their friendship. There are men in the story, there’s a romantic triangle, daddy issues, but the meat is about the women and their relationship, which is very rare in pop culture. The song at the end, ‘’For Good’’, where they apologize for their wrongdoing and marvel over how they’ve touched each other’s lives? Chokes me up almost every time.
But ‘’Defying Gravity’’ is my favorite song in the show. It’s when Elphaba says screw everybody and realizes it’s time to go off and be a badass on her own. She’s not going to let people hold her back. I like to listen to it when I want to get really fired up about something and kick some ass of my own. Plus, she’s super principled and she takes the difficult path to do the right thing, which of course is something I think everybody needs to be reminded of from time to time. And it’s Idina Menzel. Love her. (And hi, she’s married to Taye Diggs. Swoon.)
And I’m pretty sure my dog loves it when I really belt it out, as I’m prone to do.
PS, you can’t say ‘’kick some ass’’ on NIPR. Just FYI.
OH. EM. GEE.
How have I never seen this video clip before? I just got goosebumps watching it. It won’t let me embed it, but trust me, it’s worth the click. It’s Idina and Kristin Chenoweth performing it at the Tonys. (Although this comment under the video makes me want to….cry? Beat my head against a wall? ”lol wasnt that announcer guy in the beginning in the 5th season of buffy the vampire slayer?” Sigh….yes, Joel Grey was on Buffy. And clearly THAT is why he’s famous….)
Or, if you prefer the soundtrack version, this is for you.
Some songs that almost made the list…something from Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos. Fisherman’s Blues by the Waterboys. Something by ABBA. The world needs more ABBA.(That’s a joke for a loyal reader who was convinced I was going to have an ABBA song on my list. Although a little ABBA Gold never hurt anyone.) Something by R.E.M., because they’re maybe my favorite band ever. Something off of Laid by James. But thhose didn’t make the final cut, and I’m happy with my five, and I was satisfied with the end result.
It was definitely a fun experience from start to finish (other than, you know, the anxiety). Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Oh yeah, and now I totally want my own radio show! 😀