BWW Review: WICKED at Bay Court Theatre Tauranga
Tauranga Musical Theatre's production of "Wicked" is a slick show with fabulous visuals and great singing and dancing.
Director Russell Dixon has illuminated the story and the characterisations are superb.
Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, book by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, "Wicked" is the 9th longest-running musical in West End history. It charts the journey of the witches of Oz, Elphaba and Glinda, from their early days as rival sorcery students to their forming of an unlikely friendship. When Elphaba rises up against the oppressive regime who are trying to convince the people that talking animals are the cause of all their woes, she is the victim of a tactical smear campaign that culminates in Dorothy and her entourage being offered a reward for her murder.
Elphaba, (Bailea Twomey) is a misunderstood young girl who was born with bright green skin - she's also the show's unexpected heroine. Whereas Glinda, (Tiffany Wilkinson) the Good Witch of the North, starts out as a stereotypical spoilt blonde brat and finds compassion and empathy within herself from Elphaba's influence. Even when Elphaba wins the heart of Glinda's man, Fiyero, (Bailey Hocking) Glinda learns that you can't make people feel what you want them to.
The synergy and 'flow of the show' were perfect due to excellent direction and a talented cast who fully invested and understood what was required. Bravo to them all for achieving this.
Bailea Twomey and Tiffany Wilkinson more than met the high demands of their roles. They were at their entertainingly best together.
The vocals were strong and Vocal Director Elise Rohde ensured that there was a full-bodied sound with great harmonies that were both rousing and moving.
The cast was well supported by the orchestra lead by Matt Bodman.
'Defying Gravity' is known as a show stopper and Tauranga certainly delivered. It was spectacular. It takes a lot of work to achieve what they did with set, lighting, vocals all needing to be perfectly aligned. They were.
Dani Miller's choreography supported the story perfectly with clever work. I enjoyed the quirkiness and how well it befitted the heart of each number.
It was an excellent move to hire from NZ Musical Theatre's Consortium. They have surpassed themselves with the set, costuming, instruments and effects. They are absolutely stunning. I have never seen 'green' so dynamic and well put together. Bravo.
Tauranga residents do not need to leave home to see a great show.
Tauranga Musical Theatre
Bay Court Theatre
Until Saturday, September 28th