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Wicked - Buffalo 6/29

puppet
Stand-by
joined:1/11/08
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Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#1
Posted: 6/29/08 at 6:38pm
These are only my obversations on the show. I don't do too many posts but wanted to do this one for this popular show.

Technically: It is a spectacular looking show. However the design concept is a bit strange unless you have read the book. In the book much is made of the "dragon clock" and how each story is shown with puppets in seperate windows. The clock design makes sense if you know this. A few references are made to the clock in the show but not enough to really explain it. Since the stage is made to look like one of the dragon clock scenes, the dragon over the procenium and all the clock gears in the rest of the set make sense. If you don't know this, it can be a bit puzzeling. I've read that there was more about the clock idea in the tryout version,but it got dropped and it was too expensive to redesign the show.

The show looked a bit tired. The spot light operators missed a number of cues not following the principal actors. Glinda's second act dress looked like it had been to the cleaners a few too many times.

There were 4 standby, understudies for the performance. Donna Vivino was Elfaba. She sang very well, but did not create a believable character for me. Also her green make up wasn't evenly applied leaving flesh areas in her neck. Nessarose and Fiero were understudies. She was not great, he sang the duet with Elphaba well, but was a bit stiff in the acting. Glinda (Melissa Bohon) was also an understudy. She was the only one who created a real character and showed wonderful acting talent.

I found the flying of the monkeys unexciting, just swinging back and forth. Maybe I'm jaded from seeing great flying in other shows, even amateur productions.

The audience which was full of teen age girls, who applauded when the house lights dimmed even before the orchestra began, loved the show. I had to stand at the curtain call because of Melissa Bohon and the sets, not for the whole show.

Again, these are simply my obsetvations and others who saw the same performance would disagree based on the applause.


Having seen WICKED and AVE Q within a few weeks of each other it was obvious to me why AVE Q won the Tony that year. It is a show with real heart and sentiment done simply without trying to cover faults with spectacular effects.


Updated On: 6/29/08 at 06:38 PM
wicked4l
Broadway Star
joined:5/19/06
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#2
Posted: 6/29/08 at 9:06pm
Just my opinions,
Ive seen the show 9 times, Broadway,Toronto,Chicago, and 3 times in Buffalo. Ive seen all 3 different Glindas and Elphaba and her standby here in Buffalo. I was really impressed with the production here. I agree, I prefer Katie to Melissa but for an understudy she was great, I much prefer Donna to Carmen. I felt Donna was so real in the role. I think the set is fantastic, I don't really know what is to not understand about the clock. I haven't read the book but the clock made total sense. WICKED being a touring production, what would you like the flying monkeys to do in 10 seconds? and obviously the hand-held lighting will not be the best, because the stage hands learn the show on the spot, rather than on Broadway where they can get used to it. Having seen Avenue Q with the original Broadway cast and in Buffalo, I still don't understand why WICKED didn't beat Avenue Q in the Tony's. It gets me angry just thinking about it. And what do you mean? WICKED has no heart? wow, Avenue Q does? I think that Buffalo's production of WICKED far surpasses the production of Avenue Q.
once again, my opinions.
puppet
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joined:1/11/08
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#2
Posted: 6/29/08 at 10:55pm
Arguing about the show is useless as it all is personal taste. I just find the show mediocre. I did not find any emotional heart in it all. I did not care for a single character. In AVE Q I really cared about the characters even though they were puppets.

As for the follow spot operators, some travel with the show and the local ones have had about 2 weeks to learn it.

The flying could have been better. An example is Peter Pan with great effects even for the brief flying for the children.

For the amount that is being charged for tickets, I simply think centain parts of the production could have been better. Obviously everyone will have different opinions and I will be in the minority.



Updated On: 6/30/08 at 10:55 PM
zamedy
Broadway Star
joined:6/27/07
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#3
Posted: 6/29/08 at 10:57pm
I just got back from the Sunday 7pm performance of WICKED (won a single seat in the lottery). I've never seen the show before... and aside from "Popular," "For Good" and "Defying Gravity," I knew next to nothing about the score or the book. What I did know is that it is a huge blockbuster that's breaking attendance records on Broadway and around the country.
Now I know I'll probably take a lot of flack for this, but overall, the show... for me....did not live up to all the hype for me. In fact, I found myself looking at my Playbill quite often counting down the songs to the curtain call. And while I found a few of the jokes very funny (and her dog 'Do-do') I was kind of surprised I didn't laugh more.

Both Katie and Carmen were in tonight... with understudies for Nessarose and Fiyero. I thought both Katie and Carmen did a fine job. I have no other Glindas or Elphaba's to compare them too... but acting and singing wise, I thought they were right on. Carmen's 'Defying Gravity' was strong. It didn't give me chills but still very impressive. 'Popular' was fun. The audience laughed at pretty much everything they were supposed to. You could tell Katie was having fun up there.

The character who played Boq seemed kind of bored. Fiyero's understudy (Blake Whyte) had a nice voice that reminded me of Adam Pascal's. Alma Cuervo, who played Madame Morrible, was perfectly evil. She is the most talented actor in this company.

It's funny that "Puppet" made the AVENUE Q reference about the Tony Award because I was thinking the very same thing while walking out of the theatre. I can CLEARLY see why AVENUE Q did win the Tony in '04. It is a much better, smarter show.. bookwise and scorewise. In my opinion, WICKED relies too much on special effects to mask its flaws. But ironically, it is those same special effects that have won this blockbuster such worldwide appeal.

wicked4l
Broadway Star
joined:5/19/06
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#4
Posted: 6/30/08 at 3:09pm
My opinions again
I agree, i felt that the lighting was a little off, but i felt the same way in Toronto. and Peter Pan is a show about flying, and the kids fly for more than 10 seconds like the monkeys do in WICKED, so obviously it will look cooler! PUPPET I agree that no one should bother trying to defend shows because we all have different opinions.
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ohjustjake
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joined:4/18/06
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#5
Posted: 6/30/08 at 4:17pm
I've noticed that a lot of spot light operators miss a lot of entrances on tours. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but I have only done spotlight for one show, and it was community theatre. But I've seen a number of shows where I've actually noticed a late spotlight, or a mistake.

The worst was when I went to Syracuse to see The Medium/La Paggliaci operas and the spot light operators talked during the whole thing. Hello, the box is not soundproof.

end offtopic.
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shameless
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joined:3/11/05
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re: Wicked - Buffalo 6/29#6
Posted: 6/30/08 at 4:27pm
If you don't want anyone to argue with your opinion or challenge you on it, then you might not want to post it on a message board.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be enbered with your old nonsense. ~ Emerson