Wicked on Broadway
Even if you haven’t seen the play, you’ve almost certainly heard iconic Wicked songs like “Popular.” If you’re not the least familiar with the show, you still know some of the main characters like Glinda the “good witch,” the Wicked Witch of the West and other favorite Wizard of Oz characters that populate the musical. I had the pleasure of seeing this show on Broadway in New York City this year, and here is what I experienced!
Wicked plays at the Gershwin Theater, one of the most famous Broadway theaters in New York City. The city was named after George and Ira Gershwin, the well-known brothers who composed songs like “Rhapsody in Blue” and “I Got Rhythm.” It is appropriate that a playhouse bearing their name should be filled with such spectacular music as that in Wicked! One cool thing about this theater is the mini museum of theater paraphernalia that you can look at in the lobby.
Wicked Cast. Photo Curtesy Broadway Direct
Jennifer Dinoia plays Elphaba, better known to most of us as the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s a tried and true Elphaba, too, after playing this character for years in four different countries! Carrie St. Louis, who you may recognize from previous Broadway shows, plays Glinda, the good witch, who is an obnoxious popularity queen in Wicked. Peter Scolari is the actor you’ll really recognize. He plays the wizard, but on screen he’s the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!” dad.
Photo Courtesy by Broadway world
Wicked is an alternate telling of “The Wizard of Oz”, from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. In the musical, Elphaba really wasn’t such a terrible person to begin with. In fact, she was never a terrible person. Elphaba and Glinda were friends of a sort during their college years, until they had a huge feud over a boy (ah, the sad, sad story of many a friendship gone wrong). Dorothy’s house flies in at the hand of another insidious character and crushes Elphaba’s only sister. When Dorothy ends up with the silver shoes, Elphaba will stop at nothing to get back the only thing that she has left of her sister. Poor Dorothy is caught up in an altercation that she could not possibly understand! Flying monkeys, confessions, and captures ensue. At the end, Elphaba turns her lover into a scarecrow and fakes her own death so that she can run away with her sweetheart and start over anew.
If you like The Wizard of Oz, you will absolutely love Wicked. The storyline is fantastic, and the music is even better. You would never think that Wizard of Oz could become such a different tale when told from another perspective! It makes me think about narratives in my own life and how other people might see them. I highly recommend this musical! You’ll never, ever get the songs out of your head once you go.