BWW Review: WICKED at Robinson Performance Hall
Since opening on Broadway in 2003, Wicked has not lost any of it's magic. Whether seeing it for the first time or the fifth, it continues to cast its spell on audiences as it did in Little Rock at the Robinson Performance Hall last night. Part of the success of this production is the exceptional actors that continue to tell this wonderful story every night. With a packed house in the middle of the week, a church night in the south no less, we were treated to an incredible show that never lets up.
Most people are familiar, whether through the cast recording or just word of mouth, that Wicked is the story of the unlikely friendship of two witches from the Wizard of Oz. The marvelous book by Winnie Holzman and the timeless music and lyrics by Stephen Schwatz creates twists and turns that are surprising and delightful. The staging is without equal, from the costume and set design to the lights and special effects. It will capture the attention of even the most jaded theatre fan.
The cast is unbelievable. Having seen the show before, I was struck by how fresh and funny this production was. You expect to hear beautiful singing but the vocals were both powerful and electric. The chemistry between Talia Suskauer as Elphaba and Allison Bailey as Glinda was so genuine that you never doubt for a second that they are as close as sisters. It was an absolute thrill to watch these women using all of their talents and having so much fun doing it. It's easy to see that if the Broadway production needs replacements, they will not have to look very far.
One of the things that surprised me was how funny they both were. When you think of Wicked, comedy is not the first thing that comes to mind but Ms. Suskauer and Ms. Bailey show a real flair. I have no doubt the two could put together a show with song, dance and comedy, that would be a sell out every night. I would tell anyone seeing them to remember their names because they both will undoubtedly be stars on Broadway.
Other cast members who really shined include Matt Densky as Boq who made you feel for his unrequited love. Mili Diaz who was taking over the role of Nessarose, shined in her moments on stage. Sharon Sachs, Madame Morrible was a powerhouse that commanded the stage with both voice and presence. Cleavant Derricks as the Wizard was a delight and thoroughly charming as the deceitful yet almost strangely innocent man behind the mask.
The rest of the cast and especially the ensemble were absolutely flawless. With so many roles and challenging dances, they had the skill and stamina of the world-class athletes that they are. It was an unforgettable night of theatre. If you haven't seen this production don't wait. There is a reason this show is so "Popular", because if you don't get tickets, I know you'll live to regret it.
This show will continue through January 19th, for tickets contact in person at Celebrity Attractions, via phone at 866.870.2717 or locally at 501.244.8800 or online at wickedthemusical.com