BWW Review: WICKED brings OZ to San Diego

BWW Review: WICKED brings OZ to San Diego

Those wonderfully, and wickedly talented witches, Elphaba and Glinda are back in San Diego to put a spell on San Diego through November 25th at Broadway San Diego.

WICKED just finished celebrating its 15th anniversary, and with this tour featuring Jackie Burns, the longest running Elphaba on Broadway as the lead, and Kara Lindsay who also graced the Broadway stage as Glinda, this is as powerful as the two powerhouse witches at its center. As OZ-ians would say, this is definitely a time to "rejoicify."

For those unfamiliar, this musical explains just what was going on in Oz, and how all those witches learned magic, before Dorothy found her house parked on top of a witch in Munchkinland. Elphaba (Jackie Burns) is misunderstood green girl, who literally has magic coming out of her fingertips. She finds herself at school with her younger sister younger sister (and their Father's favorite) Nessarose (Milli Diaz), but finds their Father didn't care about securing a room for Elphaba.

Glinda (Kara Lindsey) is blonde, bubbly, and accidentally finds herself sharing a room with Elphaba much to the displeasure of them both. The core of the show is how their relationship journeys to outright "Loathing," to friendly, and then more into frienemy territory before the show is done.

Surrounded by characters both old and new to the Oz universe, the friends and roommates find themselves traveling similar paths, but with divergent results. Both dream of the hunky new transfer student, Prince Fieryo (Jon Robert Hall), take magic lessons from the severe Madam Morrible (Jody Gelb), and have interactions that change the life of munchkin Boq (Michael Wartella) forever. It's really how they react to meeting the magical and misleading Wizard of Oz (Jason Graae) that changes their lives for good.

Friendship, politics, fame, true love...there is a lot to this show but it is entertaining from the moment the first note plays all the way through the last. Gorgeous costumes, amazing sets, a strong ensemble keep this powerhouse show an audience favorite.

Yet, it's really those two main witches that cast the spell over the audiences. It's a testament to these two actresses that this friendship plays out as meaningfully as it does.

Burns is a phenomenal Elphaba, with a strong, clear, and emotive voice and her absolute command of the part. I dare you not to tear up during her "Defying Gravity"or "No Good Deed".

Lindsay is hilarious as the spoiled Galinda (she becomes "Glinda" later in the show) primping, pouting, and pirouetting, while she uses her social clout as a popular girl to get her way. Her vocals soar as high as the bubble she travels by, and, her quirky kicks and movements keep the character funny as she tries to navigate her ambition with her friendships.

"Something Bad" may be happening in OZ, but there is nothing but good times in this wickedly entertaining show.

WICKED is playing through November 25th at Broadway San Diego and this is one trip to OZ that you don't want to miss.

Tickets and show time information found at www.broadwaysd.com

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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From This Author E.H. Reiter

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