Saturday, July 28, 2012

Theatre Review - Wicked

About 3 years ago, my wife and I had a blast going to see Wicked with some friends as it toured here in Salt Lake as part of the Broadway in Utah season. So when it came back this summer, I decided we should really see it again. Last time we had seats down on the main floor so this year I decided we'd do balcony seats.

As expected, the show was fabulous. For those unfamiliar with Wicked it's both a "prequel" to the Wizard of Oz story as well as telling the story from a different perspective. It's based on Gregory Maguire's book of the same name and it focuses on the "Wicked Witch of the West", her life story and what made he who she is. The musical modifies a number of key elements from the book and the result is a more family friendly musical (the book is for more mature readers). The play still maintains some of the political commentary and action from the book but it does so in a way that felt a bit toned down.

The music in this show is fabulous and emotionally stirring. Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) has some amazing songs that are just powerful. At this touring show we had a fabulous Elphaba who really poured her emotion into the songs to make for a wonderfully vibrant performance. Glinda (the Good Witch) also has some fun songs and she did a great job with them but I thought she did an even better job with the comic acting. The play includes a lot of humorous banter between the characters and Glinda's character has some hilarious scenes that were played very well in the performance we saw.

Being up in the balcony, we had a different perspective on some of the scenes. In some ways I think we were better situated to experience some aspects of the show. I felt like I had a better vantage point for seeing some of the crazy acrobatics of the Winged Monkeys. And it was especially fun during the "Defying Gravity" scene to have Elphaba fly up to be eye-to-eye with us for her dramatic and powerful finale to the first Act.

The show is in Salt Lake for another couple of weeks and then it continues on. Tickets are a little pricey as compared with a trip to the movies or some other recreation. But this play is a fabulous, high quality experience that I can definitely recommend. If you have the chance to see it, you should really jump at it.


Brian Miller said...

i would very much love to see this...have seen a few broadway shows...the last one was american idiot....

Okie said...

How was American Idiot? I enjoy Green Day's music but I haven't looked into the musical enough to decide if I'd like it or not. :)