For those of you who doesn’t know the show, “Wicked” tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz. Something like if you turn the camera either side, on the movie the Wizard of OZ, Wicked will reveal the many mysteries and secrets you ever wondered about that magical land.
Last Friday July 10th I went to the fabulous Gershwin Theatre to enjoy one of the most smashing-hit shows in Broadway, Wicked.
I have to admit I hadn’t the greatest seats of all, in fact I was sitting right on the aisle. However, seats where much better than expected having a complete excellent view of the stage and performers – Orchestra section, row K, seats 2 & 4 – missing nothing of the amazing journey to the land of Oz.
As I previously stated on other reviews, I’m of course, not a critic and perhaps many details are therefore overlooked or even not mentioned in this “wanna-be” review. Still, I would love to try and give my take on the show.
What can I say that it hasn’t been said before. Production is just amazing. Perhaps, one of the most outstanding Broadway shows I’ve ever seen and we’ll even see. I was fortunate enough to have already seen a Wicked production but in that occasion was last January in Australia so I will compare some of the things in the show.
So, to start with, I’ll give a look over performances. I was lucky enough -that night- to see the entire official cast. Therefore G(l)inda was played by Alli Mauzey and Elphaba by Nicole Parker. Both were simple brilliant. Ms. Mauzey was really on fire that evening. Her comic-timing was very accurate and leaves no room to doubt that she was/is perfect for the character. Glinda, together with Elphaba, is perhaps one of the toughest roles in Broadway to take over, but Alli has succeeded in bringing this character to joyful life in a graceful and spectacular way. She has an amazing quality and tone voice, although I think she is a little bit more of an actress than a singer. Perfect jokes made the audience, including me, crack into laughter minute after minute, but she accomplished as well, like few, to deliver the most sad and powerful feelings Glinda was undergoing along the story. In a not a fair comparison, I had a hard time choosing between Alli Mauzey and Lucy Durack -playing Glinda in Australia’s production of Wicked-, Lucy was my first Glinda ever and therefore will hold a special place. However, Mauzey really stunned me at all moments. I would like to highlight this, “SHE REALLY STUNNED ME”, as I have to admit I was struggling within me for who I would love to see as Glinda that day, as I also like very much Laura Woyasz. Alli, however, made me forget of any and all desires I had, prior entering the show, and clearly stated why she is the official Glinda in Broadway. Wraping up, I LOVED HER. Besides, she was the most amazing and sweet person, when I met her at the stage door (equal to Nicole).
Now, Ms. Elpahaba by Nicole Parker. Nicole was simply remarkable. Her performance was original, stunning and breath-taking. I have to say that hearing day after day to Idina Menzel’s version, I was a little bit skeptical on what to expect, especially on the riffles. Back in January, I saw Patrice Tipoki playing that role in Australia (former understudy for Elphaba in Wicked Melbourne) and though I thought she was out-normally good, Nicole was able to so beautifully deliver every single thing line, verse and chord on her role, that she made me forget of any previous experience. I was simply fascinated with her. Ms. Parker’s vocal range, versatility, tone and timbre were impeccable and it’s easily to perceive she is a natural for singing. I simply adored her on that performance and I’m sure I want to see more of her in the future (I have to admit I still have a special place in my heart for San Francisco’s Elphaba, Teal Wicks). Last but not least, Parker and Mauzey worked amazingly well as the wicked spell-binding couple of OZ and you could easily tell that on the stage – something I can’t say of other productions.
Moving on to Fiyero by Keving Kern. He certainly achieved a good performance that night. His voice is just what Fiyero needs to keep moving up as one of the most emblematic male leading roles in Broadway. Highlight of the night for Mr. Kern was “Dancing Through Life”. He was on every note and line required to portray Fiyero as few in Wicked’s run up to date.
Other roles were really accurate and very well executed on each scene. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Ms. Morrible were the highlights of the evening behind Alli and Nicole.
Finally, regarding the ensemble, the whole crew was memorable. Simply great. Honestly, nothing to say about them, except I would love to have that complete ensemble in any production of mine (if I ever do).
Funny Fact: As being a total nuts about Wicked I could perceived many things the regular viewers couldn’t. There were many differences between productions of Broadway and Melbourne. However, the most remarkable for me, were the many many thing on the choreography that were different. I would need tons of paragraphs to detail each one of them, but I thought it would be nice to mention the fact that there were.
In overall, this so-talented witches in this behind-the-scenes story of ”The Wizard of Oz” had already mastered the levitation spell, defying gravity as few people does. ”Wicked” has been playing long enough, but not long enough for audiences to have forgotten them and still giving standing ovations at the curtain call.