“Wicked” tells the story of Oz before Dorothy arrives. The musical follows two unlikely friends, Elphaba, whose skin is green, and Glinda, who is blond and popular. It beautifully covers a range of messages, from friendship and trust to prejudice and government corruption. You also get to see the origin story of many characters featured in “The Wizard of Oz.”
I got the chance to see “Wicked” on its second night at the Fox Theatre. I had never listened to the original cast recording, but if you have, you’ll be blown away by the live performance. After the show, I took a moment to listen to the original Broadway cast album, and I honestly found it lackluster. I’m not sure if it was the live theater that captivated me, but the talented cast at the Fox took the show to a whole other level.
Olivia Valli (Elphaba) and Celia Hottenstien (Glinda) complement each other in their duets so well, and both have their own amazing solos. Frankly, their performance outdid the original cast recording by a long shot, so seeing it live was worth it.
The sets were complex and detailed but didn’t take away from the performers. The transitions from scene to scene were seamless. There were parts of the set that came back to the stage time and time again, used in different ways. In one scene, Elphaba places her briefcase on a sliding ladder decorated with steampunk-style gears, and it comes back later displaying Glinda’s shoe collection in her room. I also absolutely loved the dragon at the top of the stage that moved at various points in the show.
To sum it up, there were so many things to love about this whole musical.
The costumes skillfully designed by Susan Hilferty won her a Tony in 2004. They were dazzling and added just another layer of nuance to the show. In the sequence featuring the people of Emerald City, the fabrics manage to feature a stunning variety of different shades of green. Almost everyone seen in this part has an overly extravagant hat adorned with feathers or sequins.
If you are able to, I recommend you see “Wicked” as soon as possible! The show only runs until July 30 so get your tickets soon before they sell out. Tickets vary in price depending on the seat and show but at the Fox, almost any seat gives you a great view, even up in what some might call the “nosebleeds.”
The Broadway in Atlanta National Tour of “Wicked” runs at the Fox Theatre through July 30. For more info and tickets, visit the Fox Theatre website.