BWW Review: WICKED, Too Good to be Missed at the Music Hall in Kansas City
The Broadway hit musical WICKED opened at the Music Hall October 7, enchanting the Kansas City audiences. Joe Mantello directs the Broadway Across America production of the longest running Broadway show in history. Stephen Schwartz wrote the music, lyrics, and Winnie Holzman the book for the musical, which is the first to gross over $3 Million in one week.
Based on the Gregory Maguire novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West," WICKED is an alternative telling of Frank Baum's 1900 classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The tale begins just after the house occupied by Dorothy has fallen on Nessarose the sister of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West). Wicked was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actress (Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth) and Best Scenic Design among others. Menzel won Best Actress, but Best Original Score and Best Musical went to AVENUE Q.
Elphaba has always been different; to start with, she has always been green, just her appearance frightens family and towns people alike. Throw in the fact that she has strong developing magical powers and you have a recipe for loneliness. That is until the school forces Elphaba to share a room with Galinda (later known as Glinda the Good). Elphaba is first the object of Galinda's ridicule, but later is befriended by her.
When Elphaba discovers that, the talking animals of Oz are having their language taken away she takes up the challenge to find out who is responsible and to stop the atrocity. Summoned to Oz for an audience with the great wizard, it is then that she discovers the truth, turning everyone in the land against her. "What Is This Feeling," "Something Bad," and "No Good Deed" are but a few of the songs that tell the witches story. The spectacular performance of "Defying Gravity" is worth the price of a ticket alone.
Alyssa Fox is fabulous as Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West. She has a marvelous voice and is powerful in the role of the evil witch, complete with a witch's cackle that sends chills up the spine. Carrie St. Louis is phenomenal as Glinda the Good. From her first appearance in the bubble above Oz to the final curtain call, she is animated, humorous, and delightful to watch. The two have extraordinary singing voices which blend together like eye of newt and bat tails.
WICKED continues at the Music Hall through October 18. This is the show everyone has talked about and the show that everyone should see. Purchase tickets by visiting the Theater League of Kansas City website. Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America.