BWW Reviews: WICKED Plays Dayton
The Wicked Witch of the West has arrived in Dayton, but her mayhem is limited to the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center. The national tour of Wicked plays from now until March 7th and it is definitely a show not to be missed.
Wicked tells the story "before Dorothy dropped in" to Oz. Opening with a celebration of the Wicked Witch's death in "No One Mourns the Wicked," Galinda, the Good Witch of the North, floats onto the stage in a very neat mechanical bubble to takes us back in time to the college years of the two witches. An outsider due to her green skin and unusual magical powers, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch was given a name by Gregory Maguire, who wrote the novel the musical originated from) ends up sharing a dormitory room with Galinda. Although there is loathing at first ("What Is This Feeling?") and a little bit of female drama over a shared love interest in Fiyero, the handsome "bad boy" of the school, the two witches end up as friends until they choose opposite life paths. They have different views on the corrupt government of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Elphaba's actions lead her to be cast as the Wicked Witch.
The scenery, staging, costumes, and lighting create this show into quite a spectacle. It's also fun to see how the Wicked Witch got her famous witch's hat or how the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man came to be. And I won't tell how it's done, but it is breathtaking to see Elphaba fly at the end of Act One in one of the most well-known songs of the show, "Defying Gravity."
For the national tour currently in Dayton, Marcie Dodd performs amazingly as Elphaba and HeleNe York is a fine counterpart as Galinda. Dodd's "No Good Deed," where Elphaba vows to be wicked, gave me chills. York took Galinda on fabulous journey from the giddy, ditzy schoolgirl to a more mature leader. She really showed the transition of Galinda, with over-the-top, exaggerated and funny movements as a schoolgirl to a calmer woman who could handle things at the end. Nessarose, Elphaba's sister and the eventual Wicked Witch of the East, who, if you've seen the Wizard of Oz movie, you know is crushed by the falling house, is played by Kristine Reese. She really shined during her big moment in the song "The Wicked Witch of the East." Colin Donnell played Fiyero, the love interest of Elphaba and Galinda, and he has a beautiful voice. Don Amendolia played the Wizard and Marilyn Caskey was Madame Morrible, the sinister headmistress of the university that everyone will love to hate.
Don't miss your chance to see this amazing show before it leaves Dayton. Tickets are available for purchase online through Ticket Center Stage at www.ticketcenterstage.com. To receive personalized attention and up-do-date availability on all shows call (937) 228-3630 or (888) 228-3630 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. or Saturday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. or purchase in person at Schuster Center Box Office at Second and Main Streets.