I was excited to have the chance to watch my favorite musical for a second time.
It was so great the first time I had to see it twice.
My first experience watching the play was in London, England at the Piccadilly Theater.
The show is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and is a prequel to The Wizard of OZ. It explains the background of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (Laurel Harris), who is the main character in the play.
Other familiar Oz characters including the Wizard (Gene Weygandt) and Glinda (Kara Lindsay) accompany her. The audience also is introduced to new faces such as Fiero (Matt Shingledecker) and Madame Morrible (Kathy Fitzgerald).
The play itself tells an interesting story and that had me hooked from the beginning. Its plot includes action, romance, and drama. The true story of the Wicked Witch of the West, how Glinda became the Good Witch, and the origins of the tin man, courageous lion, and scarecrow are all explained.
Many of the songs of the play are goose-bump-inducing and I find myself still humming them days later. Some of my favorites include “What is this feeling?” “Popular,” and of course the well-known “Defying Gratify.”
The original cast of “Wicked” included Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. Menzel’s voice may sound familiar on the soundtrack because her newest completed work was the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen. She is also back on Broadway in “If/Then.”
The play and its cast have received several dozen Grammy, Tony and many other nominations since beginnings in 2004.
I realize comparing a permanent show to that of the traveling one is a tad unfair. The traveling Broadway group has a smaller cast and has to adjust to a new stage every couple weeks.
While the cast was great, their voices did not seem as strong as the original ones in the soundtrack or that of the voices in London. But they were still all very talented singers and actors.
Acoustics in the Morrison Theater were frustrating. There was a lack of clarity that made it difficult to hear the vocals at some points when multiple people were singing.
Overall, I think the performance was enjoyable and left wanting to watch it yet again.
The performance lasts around three hours and has received a well-deserved standing ovation every time I have seen it. In my opinion, it’s a definite go-see no matter where you are.