The Evolution of Us: Make Oz Great Again!

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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A little while ago, I had the pleasure of watching the musical Wicked in downtown Orlando. I’ve seen this show multiple times throughout the years since its 2003 Broadway premier, however fourteen years later, and only about 120-plus days into our 45th President’s reign, the show has taken on a crazy new perspective for me. Maybe we can learn a little wisdom from the Land of Oz.

For those who are unfamiliar with story of Wicked, it’s a musical by Stephen Schwartz based on the amazing book by Gregory Maguire that tells the story of Elphaba, the “Wicked Witch of the West” most of us feared from “The Wizard of Oz.” But it’s an origin-story, a prequel, telling how she came from an unloving father; how she became green; how she was shunned for being an “outsider” because of her intellect and her, well, greenness; and the relationships she forged once she attended college and beyond. And, of course, it dovetails into the L. Frank Baum story (see the “L-F-B” reference there?) that we’ve come to know, with Dorothy and the slippers, the Yellow Brick Road, and the house that fell on a woman – Elphaba’s sister to be exact. It also explores how the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Glinda all came into being. It’s a great story that puts what I knew as a kid on its head.

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The reigning queen of Broadway, Idina Menzel, is on top of the world and she isn’t letting it go anytime soon

By : Jeremy Williams
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Idina Menzel has the billion-dollar voice – that is billion with a “B.” It is in no small part because of that voice singing the hit song “Let It Go” that Disney’s Oscar-winning animated musical Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film of all time with a $1.2 billion worldwide box-office showing. Menzel’s powerful vocals in Wicked also began that Broadway musical’s ascension over the billion-dollar mark, which it crossed in 2016, only the third time that feat has been accomplished on Broadway.

The Tony-winning Broadway icon released her fifth studio album, Idina., in September 2016, starred in Lifetime’s remake of Beaches and will soon begin recording the voice of Queen Elsa for the much anticipated animated sequel, Frozen 2.

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