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Play: Wicked

wickedWe saw Wicked last night at the Orpheum in SF last night. As pqbon noted, it shares very little in common with Wicked, the Gregory Maguire book. This is a good thing, as I didn't like the book very much. The characters are similar, but the stories are different in that the play has a story and the book does not. Instead of just biographically following Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West, the play elevates the character of Glinda, Good Witch of the North. Elphaba and Glinda play against each other throughout -- green vs. blonde, talent vs. hack, 'good' vs. 'wicked' -- creating plenty of opportunities for dueling musical numbers throughout.

I am biased: I own the movie and haven't read the original books, so I imagine Oz to be a technicolor world where it's normal to break out into song and dance in perfect synchrony with random strangers. Like the movie, the play is a rich extravaganza full of music, special effects, and expensive set pieces. A large mechanical dragon clock hovers over the stage, monkeys with wings climb up the back of the stage, and rigs drop in from above the stage.

The music is pop and some is perhaps too cheesy, but it's all done in a spirit of fun and humor. The conclusion to the first act of the play is the bombastic high point of the play; with my limited experience attending plays I can easily state that I have not seen nearly as elaborate in a play before. The second act wasn't as impressive to me, but I enjoyed watching the improved story through to the end to see what final twists and inversions it spun on the Oz universe.

Comments (2)


I have wanted to see the play a really long time and I'm gong soon but my freind has the sound track and the songs sound awesome and the play sounds cool!

ughh I really wanna see this sounds sooo good!! I get to see it in February but it is just too far away!! ahhhh


I can't way!!!!!! :)

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