Wicked good, as the Brits say. It is the Brits, right? Anyway, my beloved and I trekked two hours down the road to see the roadshow of the Broadway hit, WICKED, and I have to say, it was stupendous. Marvelous sets, stunning costumes, wonderful lighting, super songs, and totally talented singers and dancers. The theater was packed, and I can see why. The musical's reputation is well deserved. If you get a chance to see a production near you, GO.

While I waited afterwards for the line into the ladies room to resemble something smaller than an infinite conga line, an usher and I discussed older musicals we loved. We agreed on West Side Story, South Pacific, and My Fair Lady, and of course, Camelot. Both of us could name some of the stars on Broadway in each, and then, we realized that those Broadway shows later became films. Nowadays, films (The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, Nine to Five, Billy Elliott) are going to Broadway. When did the trend reverse itself? And why? Is there a dearth of writers who are willing to slave on a Broadway production first? Or is the allure of Hollywood money and prestige trumping stage efforts? I imagine so, and who can blame the writers/songwriters? Millions of people go to the cinema, while fewer can get to Broadway.

Since one of my children has taken up a life on the stage, I've rediscovered the joys of live drama. The audience is physically connected to the actors by being in the same space with them, breathing the same air. In smaller theaters, we see them sweat, work, and strive to put the play's best foot forward. The audience becomes an extra character in the production. I love that feeling.

Speaking of extra characters, we have a new puppy. She came from a local rescue shelter for a foster care stay and has ended up as a permanent part of the family. It's a good thing she's charming, funny, and terribly smart. Our 16 year old cat is trying to train her to be civilized, but he has little patience these days for puppies, and who can blame him? He's a long-time dog lover, but Callie clearly has never been taught respect for her feline elders. She'll learn, even if it's the hard way.