BWW Review: WICKED at Popejoy Hall
Wicked's North American tour flies into Popejoy Hall from October 17th until October 28th. The musical, which is based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, explores what it was like for the witches of Oz before Dorothy arrived. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, direction by Joe Mantello, and staging by Wayne Cilento, Wicked is given a chance to soar above any expectations the audience may have and create an incredible theatre experience for the whole family.
The musical looks at the lives of the witches of Oz long before Glinda was Glinda the Good and Elphaba became known as the Wicked Witch of the West. It shows how the two women, despite the fact that they seem to be complete opposites -- as expressed in the hilarious "What is this Feeling?" where the two discuss their "loathing' for one another - can learn to become friends despite their differences ("For Good"). The exploration of this friendship and the way the talented cast can breathe life into their characters with such ease is one of the reasons why the production has been a musical theatre staple for the past fifteen years.
The North American touring cast of Wickedis no exception. Ginna Claire Mason is perfectly cast as Glinda, bringing a depth to the role of Glinda along with the humor. The song "Popular" allowed Mason to shine with the more comedic elements of Glinda as well as explore the budding friendship between the two witches. Mary Kate Morrissey delivers a powerhouse performance as Elphaba, nearly bringing the audience to its feet during her performance of "Defying Gravity." Jason Graee as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz gives the audience a glimpse into the man behind the curtain. John Robert Hall gave a wonderful performance as Fiyero and took the audience on the journey of his character as he moved from someone who was just interested in having a good time ("Dancing Through Life") to realizing there is more to life. Cole Doman as Boq, Mili Diaz as Nessarose, Chad Jennings as Doctor Dillamond, and Jody Gelb as Madame Morrible as well as the talented ensemble helped to elevate the production to something that was magical.
The Tony-Award winning musical also features breathtaking sets, including a dragon on top of the stage that would move and make noise during the production. The costuming and staging helped to transport the audience to Oz in a way that made the nearly three-hour production fly by.
Catch Wicked at Popejoy Hall from October 17-Octover 28th. This production is one that's not to be missed.
Tickets are $42-$142 plus fees and can be purchased at unmtickets.com, the UNM Bookstore ticket office, the UNM ticket office at Dreamstyle Arena, or by phone at t 925-5858 or 877-664-8661. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23-25; 8 p.m. Oct. 26; 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 27; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28. A day of performance lottery for limited $25 orchestra seats will be held two and a half hours before the day's performance(s).
Image credit: Joan Marcus.