BWW Reviews: WICKED Flies Into Cincinnati
I've seen Wicked multiple times (a few more times and I will be in double digits) and every single time, I enjoy myself. That proves how powerful this musical has become and how its themes will always be relevant. But what can make or break any performance, no matter how many times you see it, are the performers. If they are having a bad day or aren't as strong as they are suppose to be, the audience can leave disappointed. In the case of this tour of Wicked Alison Luff, who plays Elphaba, made this show.
It's hard to even explain how good Alison Luff was because I was in such awe of her talent that for most of the show I couldn't think clearly. She either played with or manipulated the notes of every song and it all worked perfectly. There were times when she would sing quickly, intentionally getting ahead of the music, so she could then hold a note longer while getting back on track with the music. It was exciting waiting for her next song because there was no telling what she would come up with next. My personal favorite was her version of "No Good Deed." She took every opportunity to make it her own and I wish I could have a recording of it. I could talk about Luff for the rest of this review so I'll leave you with this one last statement: Do not miss your opportunity to see this girl because she is going places.
The rest of the cast was solid as well, lead by Alison Fraser as Madame Morrible. Fraser was the perfect balance between evil funny and just plain evil. Gina Beck was funny enough as Glinda, but she fell into the trap that almost every Glinda does. She played the role a little too over the top and sang in her "Glinda" voice instead of her own natural voice. Beck also seemed to be having an off night because she had some problems in the signing department. Nick Adams as Fiyero, Jenny Florkowski as Nessarose and Tim Kazurinsky as The Wizard rounded out the cast.
Wicked is all about Elphaba and luckily this production has a great one. So, get your tickets soon (they are going quickly) because Luff makes this a can't miss show. And if you plan on putting your name in the lottery, you will see me there. I want to see what Luff does again!
Wicked is running at the Aronoff through Broadway in Cincinnati until March 23, 2014.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus