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Wicked 14 September Preview

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Christopher Gough
Stand-by
joined:7/11/05
Stand-by
joined:
7/11/05
Wicked 14 September Preview#0
Posted: 9/14/06 at 8:45pm
I saw the first preview on 7th Sept and saw the show again on 14th. My word, they have worked hard on it during that week! Not that the first preview was bad - but one week later the production looks totally 'match fit'.

Idina Menzel totally nailed that performance tonight - 'Defying Gravity' and 'No Good Deed' were awesome. I know its something she's sung maybe 400 times but she seemed to have completely relaxed into the London production and the reticence to go for the most demanding notes that was apparent in the first show - mainly in 'Defying Gravity' has completely gone.

Helen Dallimore's Glinda has come on leaps and bounds in that week. The comic timing is now spot on - 'thank goodness' they've reinstated 'unprepossessing features' instead of 'unflattering features' which just did not work in 'Popular'. I think everyone in the UK is so used to the OBCR that a dotty very English Glinda was a bit of a shock - but seeing and hearing the portrayal for a second time - its just great and its getting funnier. I think Helen is going to grow into that part even more over the next week or two. The only bit of comic timing she could improve is the line in 'Popular' when she is telling Elphaba: - 'lets start 'cos you've got an awfully long way to go' - it needs a bit more emphasis to indicate what a 'state' Elphaba is in. I've seen an illicit bit of video on the web where one of the US actresses rolls her hands over and over as she says it and it works really well.

Nigel Planer seemed to loosen up as the Wizard too. There was more swank and panache than a week ago and the singing was more enthusiastic - he seemed to be really going for it and just more confident.

Miriam Margolyes and Martin Ball seemed to be at the top of their game in the first preview and to me they were playing Madame Morrible and Dr Dillamond just the same tonight - they seem 'home and dry' and don't need to tamper with anything.

Adam Garcia as Fiyero? I saw lots of negative comments on the web about his performance and he still looks uneasy to me. He's fine in Act Two where Fiyero is more serious - Captain of the Guard and all that - but its 'Dancing through Life' that lacks a bit of swagger and well - sex. I don't know if the choreography for London is exactly the same for London as for the US productions but it seems to me that its Fiyero's moves that rein him in a bit during the dance sequences. Glinda is obviously 'hooked' - but he needs a few sexier dance moves - let him 'Tony Manero' it a bit to get the sexy and dissolute prince's character across to the rest of us. Adam is obviously great looking - let him use his attributes to the best advantage in the Ozdust ballroom. I don't think there's anything wrong with his ability - its the part that's not quite right.

I'm still not convinced that the sound is right - I have no idea how that is adjusted - or if it can be - but where principals are singing with the full company e.g. in 'One Short Day' they are not quite prominent enough - Idina and Helen were not sufficiently 'picked out' when singing the 'there are buildings tall as quoxwood trees/dress salons/and libraries/palaces/museums/a hundred strong'. I was in E36 in the stalls - which is very much to the side of the theatre - perhaps it was a quirk from that position - but I could have done with a more treble sound to the principal vocals from there and picked them out even more in the mix. But what do I know?

All I can say is 'very well done guys' - technicians and performers -everyone seems to be really believing they can pull this off now - I am really looking forward to seeing the show again at the charity preview and getting to have a chat with some of you at the dinner - if you have any energy left to make that!
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WhoPaintedTheKitten?
Understudy
joined:8/6/06
Understudy
joined:
8/6/06
re: Wicked 14 September Preview#1
Posted: 9/14/06 at 9:26pm
Hey, I saw it on the 14th too! I wasn't sure whether it would be my kinda thing as I'm not really into huge musicals, but I thought Wicked was wonderful! Idina was absolutely amazing, her voice especially during Defying Gravity left me breathless! I loved the wizard too- I loved the way his voice boomed around the theatre! I was up in the circle Row S- the sound was very good from up there. Only 5 for the ticket- bargain of the century I think- was one of the best nights I've ever had at the theatre.
"...if you rearrange the letters in the word unemployed, it spells OPPORTUNITY!" - Gary Coleman, Ave. Q
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/4/05
re: Wicked 14 September Preview#2
Posted: 9/14/06 at 11:41pm
seriously, you guys have no idea how happy it is making me seeing so many great reviews about idina re: Wicked 14 September Preview people in the US were like... very, VERY harsh on her, so that fact that I dont THINK I've really seen one single BAD review about her in london is like.. the greatest!

anyway, awesome review over all and thanks for posting it! sounds like the show is doing amazingly!
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Incognito
Featured Actor
joined:2/22/06
Featured Actor
joined:
2/22/06
re: Wicked 14 September Preview#3
Posted: 9/15/06 at 6:22am
Nice review!

snl89. Idina's performance is incredible, and I don't say that lightly. She is very charismatic, and you are compelled to watch her. Her performance for the most part is very understated, but every nuance and gesture counts.

I was fascinated by what she does, and how she does it, but I could not see any joins: - )

I think she is enjoying herself immeasurably, and I expect her reviews to be ecsatic here in the U.K. My tickets for October came today, and I can't wait to see it again. Our household hasn't stopped talkng about the show since we saw it Monday evening, it's Wicked!

Life is...just a bowl of cherries...
Updated On: 9/15/06 at 06:22 AM
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WickedForever2
Featured Actor
joined:9/15/06
Featured Actor
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re: Wicked 14 September Preview#4
Posted: 9/15/06 at 2:56pm
*crys* I want to see IDINA in the this show, if it's the last thing I do!!!!! It sounds like she is even more amazing than on Broadway, if that's even possible.... Still waiting for a *coughhackweez* (sorry about that) to show up.
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GilmoreGirlO2
Broadway Legend
joined:4/13/05
Broadway Legend
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re: Wicked 14 September Preview#5
Posted: 9/15/06 at 4:33pm
Great review! Thanks for posting it and letting us know how much it's improved in only a week! :)
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Becoz_i_knew_you21
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/06
Broadway Legend
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re: Wicked 14 September Preview#6
Posted: 9/17/06 at 12:30am
"I've seen an illicit bit of video on the web where one of the US actresses rolls her hands over and over as she says it and it works really well. "

Was that Kendra Kassebaum you saw?
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Christopher Gough
Stand-by
joined:7/11/05
Stand-by
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re: Wicked 14 September Preview#7
Posted: 9/17/06 at 2:49am
Thanks - yes it was.