No good deed goes unpunished.

My road of good intentions
Led where such roads always lead

…Sure, I meant well -
Well, look at what well-meant did:
All right, enough – so be it
So be it, then…
Let all Oz be agreed
I’m wicked through and through
Since I can not succeed
Fiyero, saving you
I promise no good deed
Will I attempt to do again,
Ever again
No good deed
Will I do again!!!

The heart of Wicked (The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz) lies in this song. It’s one of the less popular ones, compared to Defying Gravity, but it really captures what makes Wicked’s plot so interesting: sometimes our good intentions bring about grave consequences. It explores this idea in a political context. As Lichtgarn says, “Holzman and Schwartz are particularly attuned to the issue of moral relativism in a political context and their talent shines in delivering their message in the disguise of a musical extravaganza.”

It’s a really deep and complicated musicale that questions the definition of evil altogether. The author of the novel which Wicked the musicale was based upon explained the origins of his novel in an interview:  “That whole notion that the stereotype of evil is a shortcut to moral assessment–and thus a delimiting of the character of the adversary into only one attribute, wickedness–was where the novel WICKED began.”

There have been endless debates on whether we should judge by intentions or actions. Some have evil intentions and do good works. Some, like Elphaba, have good intentions and do bad things. How do we say something is evil, by the bad deeds or by bad intentions?

Since I’m a Bible-believer, I’d like to offer a solution offered by the Bible (and which I think is the best): Don’t judge at all. Let God do the judging.  (Matt 7:1-5)

There’s a saying that “we often judge others by their actions and ourselves by intentions”. We, humans, can be often inconsistent with our line of judgement. We can easily have double standards. But that’s not exactly the best reason why we shouldn’t judge, although it is one of them.

The reason why we shouldn’t is because we’re not exactly best people in the world. We make mistakes. We do evil things too. We don’t have the ethos to do so.

It’s hard, I know, especially for people like me who have our own sense of values, of what’s wrong and right. It’s so easy to impose our standards to others. So easy to measure others by our own standards. Often we forget the Love that conquered it all. And if we are to love others, just as we ought to do,  then it helps to come from a point of view of understanding.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned, we can actually accept something even without approving it. And we need this perception if we really wanna reach out to many.

With such a heavy theme, it helps that Wicked had inserted a lot of comical reliefs. If I can say, Glinda was one of them and the actress that portrayed her here in the Manila show did a really, really good job.

Every aspect of the production was just wonderful.  Costumes. Make up. Lights. Choreography. Music. Set design. Oh, set design! I don’t even know where to begin with set design. It’s one of my favorite features of the musicale. Wicked was truly a wonderful, new musicale experience. I have waited so long to see this and I finally did! I would regret not watching this so watch it while it still runs in Manila! :)

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