Long before there was Dorothy, there was Elphaba and Glinda. Wicked tells the untold story of the witches of Oz, and in my opinion a much more entertaining and enchanting story.
Elphaba (who later becomes the Wicked Witch of the West) is born with green skin, and she spends her life as outcast. When she comes to school, she makes an unlikely friend – Glinda (who later becomes Glinda the Good). Elphaba isn’t evil – far from it actually. She is extremely kind despite all those that have made fun of her over the years and rejected her attempts at friendship. The popular and ever-so-adorable Glinda decides to take Elphaba on as project. She is going to make her popular, and with Glinda’s words of wisdom about flipping her hair and being cute – it’s sure to change Elphaba’s luck.
Elphaba has a little bit of talent up her sleeve though – which ultimately becomes her curse. Not only will you sympathize with her – you’ll be rooting for her over everyone – including Dorothy (or as Elphaba likes to call her – “that wretched little farm girl”).
Dee Roscioli plays Elphaba in this leg of the tour. As she first took the stage, the audience erupted with applause before she had even opened her mouth. What did they know that I didn’t know? They knew that Roscioli has played Elphaba in more performances than any other actress, and it’s hard to imagine it any other way when you hear her sing. Her voice paired with the music of Wicked makes for an unforgettable experience – and a musical that will easily be in your top 3 favorites.
Amanda Jane Cooper does a fabulous job as Glinda as well. While it would be easy to be lost in the shadow behind Roscioli’s mad chomps, Cooper plays her role with as much adorableness as she does vocal power – making her the perfect counterpart for Roscioli.
The acting is fantastic, the singing is top-notch, the sets provide visual enchantment with a hint of steampunk, and the show as a whole just pulls you into another world and doesn’t let you go for nearly 3 hours. Wicked became one of my favorite plays before the first act had even finished. This surprised me more than it may surprise others. I’ve made it no secret to my friends my extreme dislike for The Wizard Of Oz, so I was more than reluctant going into this performance. Something about those flying monkeys and the witch’s laugh that permanently scarred me in my youth… And while both of those elements were present in Wicked, the story completely changed the way I felt about it. I actually think that Wicked is a much better story, so I encourage you to check it out even if you’re not a fan of the original. I’ll be interested to see if you like it better as well!
You can pick up tickets for an Atlanta show from now through October 9th! They can be purchased through the FOX Theatre Box Office or online at www.ticketmaster.com!
Review By: Emma Loggins
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus