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March 6, 2013

Which show do suggest when your oldest friend Lizzie Spooner and her daughter Claire Beavers with three other Mom’s and their daughters want a trip from the Black country to the West End? I suggested the show with TWO brilliant female leads which still plays to 100% full houses on Broadway; “Wicked”. Mike and I joined them for the Saturday matinee at the giant Apollo Victoria. All eight of them were standing clapping and cheering at the final curtain so hopefully I made the right choice.

I saw “Wicked” on Broadway with Idina Menzil as Elphaba and Joel Grey as The Wizard in its first year in the summer 2004. The show was pushed into the background for me because we also saw “Aida”, “The Producers”, that year’s Tony Award winning performance by Hugh Jackman in “The Boy from Oz” and possibly a Broadway first as Mike and I, encouraged by our new friends; Rosemary Sondy-George and Karen George we appeared as “a Gay couple dancing together” in the Act 2 of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”.

“Wicked” is a big broadway show with great songs written by Stephen Schwartz based on (for Wizard of Oz fans like me) the MUST READ novel by Gregory Maguire. It is a complex and interesting story which breaks down the good and evil of the original tale into shades of “wickedness”. Great story, great songs, great roles.

My issue with “Wicked” is the design. It is BIG but… I don’t know what the huge dragon at the front of the proscenium arch has to do with the story? What is all the clockwork in the set about? The Wizard of Oz “face” is a real let down. I feel I am watching a stage show instead being transported to Oz as I did in the Palladium production of “The Wizard of Oz”. So for me the great story, great songs, great roles performed by a great cast is let down for this theatre goer by weak set design choices.



From → Theatre

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