“Wicked” Never Ceases To Amaze

wickedlogoCelebrating the tenth anniversary, “Wicked” makes a return to the Fabulous Fox Theatre and does not disappoint. I don’t care how many times I’ve seen it, I always get goosebumps at least a half dozen times throughout the show.

After Glinda makes her opening appearance in her bubble to open the show, we travel back to see how she (then Galinda) first meets Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Things aren’t quite as they appear in “The Wizard Of Oz” as truths and half-truths are bandied about and we even see how other familiar characters from the L. Frank Baum classic originated- according to Gregory Maguire’s original book version of “Wicked.” With Winnie Holzman’s adaptation of Mr. Maguire’s story for the stage and music from the brilliant Stephen Schwartz, “Wicked” has become a cultural phenomenon around the world.

wicked2Just as in “42nd Street,” we get the announcement on press night that the touring Elphaba is ill and we get the understudy, Mary Kate Morrissey, and she kills it. What a glorious voice and a superbly acted performance. Coupled with Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda, they make a wonderful team and bring down the house during the big second act number, “For Good.”

wicked1Wendy Worthington is a delightful Madame Morrible while Sam Seferian makes a powerful and poignant Boq. Jake Boyd is properly smug as Fiyero and Megan Masako Haley does a star turn as Nessarose. Chad Jennings is wonderfully tragic as Dr. Dillamond and Stuart Zagnit rounds out the principle cast as the Wizard. The cast is particularly strong in this production and the supporting cast of singers and dancers simply shine.

Veteran Joe Mantello has directed with a keen eye for the humor and surprises in the plot. Wayne Cilento’s brilliant musical staging along with the dance arrangements of James Lynn Abbott are superb.

wicked“Wicked” is so popular that, although it’s been her several times in the past, this time around it plays for almost a month. Performances run through January 3rd. So make plans now to see it again and I’m thrilled for those of you who will be experiencing “Wicked” for the first time.

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