The Broadway blockbuster by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, which tells the story of what happened in Oz before Dorothy dropped in, has been selling out in ticket presales on its national tour. So you might have better luck finding a pair of ruby slippers than a seat at the Pantages, where it flies in from now through July 31, starring Stephanie J. Block, Kendra Kassebaum and Carol Kane.
But this tale, with its Grammy Award-winning music, based on the book by Gregory Maguire, isn't your grandmother's "Wizard of Oz." (Judy Garland never used words like "swankified" or "disgusticified.") This show is all about Elphaba (a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (a.k.a. the Good Witch of the North) -- who used to be best friends.
But who was really "wicked" and who was really "good?"
I first met Jay in the early '60s. I was in the fourth grade, and he, a smart, funny Jewish kid, was bumped up to my class by skipping a grade.
We hit it off immediately, and became good friends. Together with our friend, Eddie, we formed a club -- "Rat Finks Anonymous" -- complete with a secret handshake that I can still perform on demand.