WICKED, the Broadway sensation, digs deeper into the story that we all learned from “The Wizard of Oz.” This production gives us the full scope of what’s taking place in the magical land of Oz and tells a slightly different story. Think of it like Wizard of Oz X or Wizard of Oz 0, exploring a newly revealed backstory that takes place before the original.
Long before Dorothy and the other characters we’re familiar with arrive, there’s another woman that takes center stage. Elphaba (Talia Suskauer) is born is different from everyone else, not just because of a special talent, but because of her appearance (green skin). She grows up being feared and constantly accosted simply for existing (a very realistic feeling some of us can relate with). She was getting it from all sides, both home and outside, so she was ambivalent once she found out she was being sent away to school.
School brought its own challenges, just being young and attempting to adjust to new surroundings. Initially there to watch after her sister Nessarose (Amanda Fallon Smith), her secret talent becomes not-so-secret anymore after an accident. Glinda (Allison Bailey), a typical goody-two-shoes that demands attention, is forced to be her roommate. It’s once the girls become roommates that they eventually find something in common. But would they be able to coexist with so much societal pressure pushing someone with green skin as evil? bad? wicked?
This two-act number is absolutely sensational. Every question I ever had about the story and how the characters came to be was answered in this production. The singing is phenomenal, the characters are delightful, and it’s just an overall good time. The set design, as well as the costumes, were all fantastic.
I give WICKED a 10 out of 10. This is a must-see production, there’s no other way to put it. Months ago when I posted a preview for Broadway in Atlanta’s 2019/20 season, WICKED is one of the pieces that make this season the most exciting to date. Now more than ever, WICKED parallels current events in the manner that you have to ask yourself, “Do I have the courage to do the right thing?”
Photo: Joan Marcus