How marvelously “wicked” a musical can be! Wicked has returned to Vancouver for five weeks and is one musical you cannot miss!
Wicked begins with the big news that the Wicked Witch of the West is finally dead after torturing the residents of Munchkinland and Oz (No One Mourns the Wicked). The most beautiful person appears in a bubble – it’s Glinda, the Good Witch! From there, the untold story of the Wicked Witch, named Elphaba comes out, revealing the school relationship between Glinda and this lovely girl in green.
Kara Linsday plays the magical soprano Glinda in this touring production of Wicked. I was excited to learn she was in the original Broadway cast of Newsies (another musical I cannot wait for). Her presence is strong in this production – as one of the two starring ladies; her voice is wonderfully suited for this role. She also has amazing comedic timing, her lines are perfectly suited to make the audience laugh amid some of the seriousness of the musical.
Laurel Harris plays the role of Elphaba in Wicked, the other leading lady. This role is probably one of the most demanding of all the musicals I have seen over the years. Not only does she wear amazing green makeup that she has to act her character through (oh M.A.C., you have genius character makeup), she is often “alone” on stage in her singing, without the backup of the ensemble cast, as she is the different and disliked witch. Laurel has a fantastic presence on stage. You can hear the strength of her voice among the others. I don’t think I have seen a better Defying Gravity. You are captivated when she flies into the air.
The duet Glinda and Elphaba sing together, For Good, had me weepy at the end.
Other notable mentions in the cast are Kathy Fitzgerald as Madam Morrible and Matt Shingledecker as Fiyero. However, it is challenging to even pick out favourites among the supporting cast and ensemble- I noticed particular and special pieces from all of them.
This musical also has some of the best costuming I’ve seen in a musical. Brilliant colours and fabrics have a wonderful “whimsyness” about them. Black and white striped socks, the glittering Glinda gowns and the darkness of the Elphabas’s transition from geeky girl to the Wicked Witch all stand out to support their characters.
Kudos to the crew who put this magical scenery together- this must be well oiled machine of individuals, each with their own tasks to accomplish. It is truly masterful work. The lights, the sounds, the scenery are all amazing.
This production also includes nine local musicians in the orchestra which is wonderful to see. They also had local crews to help set up the stage.
Wicked is an amazing work of art to see. I enjoyed every second of it. Our audiences did too- there was no hesitating at all for the standing ovation it received.
If you’d like to see Wicked, you can purchase your tickets through www.broadwayacrosscanada.ca. Wicked runs until June 29, 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth theatre in Vancouver. You can also try your luck at the Wicked Lottery – two hours before the show starts, you can put your name into the Cauldron and a half an hour later, if your name is drawn, you can purchase two orchestra level tickets to that performance of Wicked for $25.00 each, cash only.