A Wicked Good Night

Since I have lived in Michigan I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone in to Detroit, and of those occasions almost all of them have been to go see an event (a play or musical, sporting event, or concert) and tonight was no different. As part of Melissa’s Christmas present, and as a gift to myself, I bought us tickets to go and see Wicked at the Detroit Opera House. In addition Melissa also received another piece of her Christmas present tonight because it looked beautiful with her dress. She received the lovely necklace and matching earrings that she is wearing in the picture (clicking the image will open the full image if you want a closer look), which she likes very much. 🙂

The evening of theater was preceded by a wonderful dinner at Mario’s Italian Restaurant. Mario’s is a great place and we were impressed from the moment we walked in. Neither of us are used to a place this…upscale for a lack of a better term. For instance no other place I know of brings you a vegetable and relish tray the moment you sit down. But then again Mario’s has been around since 1948, so they are a hold over from a much classier time. Because it was our first time the waiter was kind enough to give us a few tips for dinning at Mario’s, one of which was to skip the appetizer because there was only two of us and the meal portions are rather large. All of their entrees include an antipasto salad, soup, and pasta (if you’re getting a non-pasta entree) in addition to the already served relish dish. So we took this bit of advice and ordered just the entrees. I ordered the Manicotti and Canelloni combination which is a half portion of each of these two delectable dishes, and let me assure you they were indeed delicious! I am partial to manicotti to begin with and get it almost every time I am at an Italian restaurant so believe me when I say that Mario’s manicotti is superb. Melissa ordered the Spaghetti Marinara with mushrooms, and while she enjoyed the meal as far as pasta goes she was not all that impressed with their marinara sauce. She felt, and from the looks of it I agreed, that it was too thin and watery for her liking. Holding true to our recent obsession we ordered their Crème Brulee for dessert, and like our other encounters with this delicious dessert we were completely satisfied! I think that Mario’s is definitely a place we would come back to again if we were in this part of Detroit again.

Once done with our fine dinning we retrieved the truck from valet (oh did I mention that Mario’s has free valet parking? No? Well they do.) and headed down the road to the Detroit Opera House. There was a valet parking lot directly across the street from the Opera House that we took full advantage of and headed in. The Opera House itself is very beautiful on the inside, though we only looked around the first floor. After purchasing a few keepsakes from the show (a shirt for Melissa and a magnet) we headed in to the actual theater to find our seats. It turned out that the seats were a little more off to the right of the stage than I had originally thought, but they were still excellent seats. The musical itself was very well performed and the singing was great, and once I got over my disappointment (I’ll explain in a minute) the show was very good and I would recommend it to anyone. The set designs were amazing and beautiful, and the large Dragon over the stage representing the Clock of the Time Dragon was really cool,  particularly when the eyes lit up! Also the way the tik-tok machines were represented in the moving set pieces were very intriguing.  Now for my disappointment…. I have actually read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West that this musical is based off of, twice. The second time I read the book was to read it with Melissa so that we would be familiar with the book before seeing the play, big mistake. The musical deviates, a lot, from the book and for me that took a large effort to get over. For those who have not seen the musical but have read the book, the musical basically starts with the girls going to Shiz, nothing before. That in itself is fine, but they changed the complete background of Elphaba’s parents, her sister’s disability, and the very nature of Fiyero’s character! Amongst other smaller changes this really made it difficult for me to truly enjoy the show in the beginning because I kept finding myself thinking “that’s not how it was in the book.” I do understand that they would need to change things in order to make it all fit into a 2 hour play, though I wish the changes hadn’t been so drastic. I think if I had not gone into the show with the expectation that it would be closer to the book that I would have been fine from the beginning. That is my advice to other’s if they have read the book, don’t expect the book and the musical will be fantastic from the start!

This was really a very lovely night and hopefully we will continue seeing plays and going out occasionally in 2012! Hopefully not all at the end of the year like this year, but it is a nice beginning.

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