Wicked the musical is known as the "untold story of the Wizard of Oz" and takes a look at the lives of Galinda, later to be known as Glinda the Good, and Elphaba, later to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West. It tells the story of their meeting and ultimately their unlikely friendship. Even though their relationship is rocked by a few problems, they are able to make it through, summarized in one of the last songs, "For Good". The musical is marked with great songs; some of which will have your toes tapping to the beat, and others that will leave your side aching from the humor.
The LA cast of Wicked has recently changed. Elphaba, who was once played by Eden Espinosa is now played by Caissie Levy. I must say, the change in this role really scared me. I did not think that anyone could play that role better than Eden. But I was pleasantly surprised by Caissie's performance. Although "Defying Gravity" was not as powerful, this song is really the climax of the play and you would be hard pressed to find someone that could do it better than Eden, there were a few songs that I believed she nailed, including her first solo in "The Wizard and I". A few other changes were to the characters Boq and Madame Morrible. I do not feel that the change in cast has lowered the show in any way.
A few points I want to make in closing:
- I believe it is a show worth watching.
- Surprisingly funny. From the little sayings from the Wizard of Oz to the songs. You laugh pretty much the whole time.
- "Wonderful cast" (this was meant to be a pun, when you see it you will get it)
- Interesting and surprising plot...that is all I can say without giving it away.
- Incredible music, this is the kind of musical that you will buy the soundtrack for and listen to over and over again.
- Safe for the whole family (I hate that phrase...in case you were wondering). I have seen the show twice where there has been a girl that I believe is 11 in our party. There is one scene that hits at being sexual, but it is tastefully done and no where near inappropriate.
Negative points (Most of which I overheard a gentleman say during intermission):
- More for the younger generation. He mentioned that he felt with the costumes and songs that it was a play that appealed to a crowed younger than himself, I would guesstimate his age to be around 60 or 65.
- Kinda expensive, tickets can range from $35-$98. But if you enjoy this kind of thing, it is well worth it.
- Nothing like the book. See the book here. If you have read the book and are going to see the play, or have seen the play and are going to read the book, the only things that are similar are the names.
- If taken to the extreme, and looking at the Wizard as a "God-like" figure...there can be a spin on the idea that the people of OZ were looking for something to believe in and believe in the Wizard eve though he has no real power (which he admits in the play), just as we are looking for something to believe in and we create this "god" to believe in. It is pretty much the same critique that happened when the movie came out. But I do not believe it is a strong enough connection to worry about.
Overall, I recommend this play to everyone! I think that anyone can get something out of it. And if you ever want to go, I am sure we will be going again soon. Just maybe not by bubble. ;)