Wicked in Oz!

Childhood memories of a story long since past recreated. Such is the power of Wicked.

There are no surprises that the show’s tenth anniversary opening night in Melbourne recently received a standing ovation.

When you watched The Wizard of Oz as a child, never once would you have thought that 75 years later, it would be tinkered with in a way you’d never think would be as good as the original. If not better.

Telling the untold stories of the Witches of Oz, Wicked is an harmonic, powerful and mesmerising portrayal of Glinda the good witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West through their younger years that reveals the root of the wicked witches’ wickedness.

The globetrotting, internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning stage production is set obviously in the mythical Land of Oz with all the protagonists from the original appearing in any way possible. It’s quite impressive to see how seamlessly the stage production some seven decades later ties-in with the original plot of the all time classic.

In a land where houses flew, witches cast spells and monkeys sprouted wings, the show’s composer, Stephen Schwartz, was restricted by very little in the way the story could have been adapted.

The soaring voices of Jemma Rix as the wicked witch and Lucy Durack as Glinda combined with comical timing and quick one-liners made for a thoroughly enchanting performance that showed a lot of heart.

With songs in keys that could only be described as spine-tingling, Rix belted out her shop-stopping ‘Defying Gravity’ with conviction and passion while suspended a good few metres above the stage and awe-inspired crowd of the Regent Theatre.

Both as commanding on stage as each other, Rix and Durack steered the show to success, making full story-telling use of the stage that was expertly used to carry the tale to a far away land.

Wicked is expected to run for 18 weeks in Melbourne before playing in Sydney from 20 September at the Capitol Theatre and in Brisbane at QPAC from 15 February next year.

This is a repeat of a post written by James Banham for the Star Observer online. See original post here

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