A Wicked Impromptu Tangent

This week we were supposed to  study  Frederic Chopin.  I do love some beautiful piano music, but sometimes plans just have to change according to what's going on in life.  Here's how we took an unexpected (but very welcome!) tangent:

Sunday morning just before church started a friend of mine approached me and asked if I wanted an extra ticket to see Wicked at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta.   How could I refuse?  I had never seen the musical and had heard so many wonderful things!  Ironically, my husband and I had just been searching for theater tickets the night before - we are traveling to New York City (just the two of us - woo hoo! - but that's a whole other blog post!) in just three weeks and really wanted to see this show.   My husband said he would handle the kids for the rest of the day, so I was getting an unexpected afternoon of fun!

The plan was after church to head downtown to a popular restaurant, Chicken & Waffles, owned by Gladys Knight.   Well, the minute we drove by the restaurant we knew there was no getting in - the line was snaking down the street and around the corner and we didn't have a lot of time.  We wound up going to another favorite restaurant, Gordon Biersch, and enjoyed a lovely lunch on the patio.   This in itself was a treat for me!  

The Fox Theatre is just an amazing place in Atlanta, so full of history and Southern charm.  I've seen lots of shows there, and up until this weekend I would have to say that The Phantom of the Opera or The Blue Man Group was my favorite show, but now it is (hands down!) Wicked.  I can't begin to tell you how much I loved the show!!  All of the twists and turns that occur through the show that weave it into the Wizard of Oz are amazing.  Tears streamed down my face at the end of "Defying Gravity" - music brings out emotions in me that nothing else can, and I think this is one of the reasons I love music so much.  

I know my children would have loved Wicked, too, so all week I've been playing the music and telling them the story the best I can.  It does my heart good to have them request "Defying Gravity" and "Popular" over and over again!  (Well over a year ago I wrote a post about introducing musicals to your children, and I always love to have musicals playing in the house.)

Even though I didn't own the music, I came home and played it immediately using a great service we subscribe to - Spotify.  (Yes, I also use Pandora, but this just takes Pandora about 10 steps further!) Essentially, Spotify allows us to listen to ANY MUSIC we want, either on our computer, iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone.   We subscribe to Spotify premium membership for $9.99/month.   To me, this is SO worth the price.   We no longer buy albums, and I love being able to just listen to whatever I want whenever I want. 

Case in point:   Today we were studying Kansas and we learned that Charlie "Yardbird" Parker was born in Kansas.  I really wanted the kids to hear some of his beebop music, and we found a whole selection of it on Spotify.  

Our musical horizons are limitless with this service and I see my children's tastes broadening and changing.  

Other things we have learned from Wicked:

*  what the word prequel means
* We have learned many of the songs by watching  videos on Youtube of the musical... the kids beg me to watch more each time!
*We watched this video about Elphaba becomes green for each show... she also talks a lot about musicals and what it is like to be in one.
*A little bit of stage slight of hand to help Elfeba defy gravity
*There is much more to life than outward appearances - and... things aren't always as they appear.

Here's my favorite song from Wicked - Defying Gravity - as sung at the Tony awards.   I wonder what it would be like to be Elfeba (the supposed "bad" witch) singing my heart out high above the stage?   I can always dream....

Do you have a favorite Broadway musical?   Or, have you taking a tangent recently that turned out to be a wonderful learning experience for your children?