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Monday, March 21, 2005

A Wicked start to my week

My reading material for the Mexico trip was Gregory Maguire’s book, Wicked, upon which the theatre production of the same name is based. I loved the book, a fantastic grown-up fairytale about how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, both hailing from remote Oz, became who they are. The novel looks at politics, racism, sex and education among many other themes within the context of the stories and characters of the Oz we all know and love. The book was a great read.

Last night, I saw the musical Wicked, based on Maguire’s book. Adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the play captured all of the main elements of the book, albeit with a slightly happier ending. Wicked is beginning its tour in Toronto and moves on to Chicago after it’s sold out run at the Canon Theatre downtown.

This was my second musical, the first being The Lion King, a year and a half ago. I doubt that any musical or play will ever compete with the opening scene of The Lion King, with the music and the animals… it took my breath away. However, as a whole, Wicked was an amazing show. It was cleverly written, and though a departure from the book in many ways, it allowed for more development of Glinda’s character, who, despite my scorn for all things THAT pink, was so good and so funny. Played by Kendra Kassebaum, there were a lot of laugh-out-loud Glinda moments.

Elphaba was incredible. Actor Kristy Cates replaced Stephanie Block for this performance (Ms. Block was injured during the last dress rehearsal several weeks ago and is slated to return on the 31st of March) and I was blown away by her character. Whether on a stage full of people or doing a solo, Elphaba’s performance and voice were riveting and during the musical number “Defying Gravity,” I forgot for a moment where I was because I was so caught up in the scene.

All in all, an incredible experience. Although sold out, I’ve heard that tickets can still be obtained on the day of, by heading down prior to the performance and putting your name in a hat. If chosen, you will be able to purchase two box seats for the bargain price of $25 each. For more details on the play, check out www.wickedthemusical.com.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 5:13 PM :: 0 Comments:

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