Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book vs. Play

When she was in middle school, Darling Daughter was in chorus. They put on a performance of High School Musical in the spring of the year and they did an amazing job for a group of 13 yr olds. It was wonderful.

One of the other musicals that they learned that year was Wicked. In case you haven't heard of it, Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West...her point of view. I have never had the opportunity to either read or see the play, but Darling Daughter LOVED it! She and her friends sang the songs from it for months. My mom and step-dad recently took a trip to NYC and saw the musical on Broadway...and they came back gushing about how much they liked it, too.

So, naturally, when The Hubby and I went to Books-A-Million for Valentine's Day (Yeah, I know, but we like books, ok?) and I happened to see Wicked the book by Gregory Maguire, I bought it. I looked forward to enjoying Elphaba's side of the story.

Only, umm, well it seems the play was only LOOSELY based on the book. Because most of what occurred in the book wouldn't be allowed on a Broadway stage. More likely it would be going on in a dark, creepy room full of weirdos in a back alley somewhere! Initially, I was stunned that the drama teacher actually let a bunch of 8th graders read this stuff. If I had read the book first, I would have protested very loudly! But of course, the play is really nothing like the book, so it was perfectly safe for kids.

It did get me thinking how often a novel is adapted to movie form and it loses something in the process. I would rather read Tuck Everlasting or Dracula any day. And I'd have to say the same about the Harry Potter books, although we did love the movies, too. This time around, though, I would probably stick to the play. The book was definitely more intense, more violent and more...adult themed. It was good and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't let my daughter read it.

Sorry, Darling Daughter, but you won't be reading the book version of Wicked. I'm putting it away. We'll bring it out when you're 30. If your lucky.


The Momster said...

I have a friend who read Wicked when it first came out. He loved it and talked about it a lot. I just couldn't get myself into getting it and reading it though... glad to hear your perspective...I think I'll wait. LOL

My niece saw Wicked on Broadway and loved, loved, loved it.

Are you guys FREEZING today? It's unreal here.

a Tonggu Momma said...

My high school once did a production called Quilters and my momma didn't even allow me to try out for it. Now that I'm a mom myself, I can see why. But the play Wicked is wonderful, even if the book is a tad more adult... the playwright for Quilters didn't tone it down as much or as well as did the playwright for Wicked.