Every so often, there is a musical that makes it’s mark on society and becomes a sensation. In the 1940s, it was Oklahoma!, then in the 80s, Phantom of the Opera, and recent megahit Hamilton has also reached this status. But 14 years ago, the first musical sensation of the 21st century hit Broadway. Winning three Tony Awards, Wicked, based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, is one of the most popular musicals of all time, and for good reason. It plays as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of witches Glinda the Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. The thrilling design and sensational cast make it truly a show stopping production.
The set of Wicked is mainly composed of a large clock framing the stage, and various other steampunk-like pieces that weave in and out during the show. A large mechanical dragon sits at the top of the set, capturing the audience immediately. Designer Eugene Lee does a remarkable job of creating the land of Oz. Lighting designer Kenneth Posner’s use of rich colors also aids in the creative aspect of the show. Bright greens and vivid reds are used to depict the strong emotions of the show. Another large component of the musical is the costumes. Designer Susan Hilferty does a magnificent job, not only in keeping attention to detail, but making every costume interesting and unique. Two of the most gorgeous pieces are Elphaba’s Act II dress and Glinda’s ball gown, both of which are covered in intricate detail.
Every technical moment in Wicked is more than well done. This particular performance had one small mishap at the beginning of the show, however. Glinda arrives in a bubble, which got stuck in the wing, making it so that only half of the contraption could be seen. Other than this, the technical elements of the show were executed flawlessly and gave the show it's magic.
In the role of Elphaba, Jessica Vosk certainly defied gravity. Her performance left the audience in euphoric applause multiple times throughout the show, particularly in “Defying Gravity” and “The Wizard and I”. She gave her all and fully committed to her character, as did her co-star Ginna Claire Mason, who portrayed Glinda. Mason maintained Glinda’s mannerisms wholeheartedly and gave the character depth she needs. The two stars worked together in tandem to give the audience a stellar performance. Vosk and Mason perfectly captured Elphaba and Glinda’s relationship, which culminated in their emotional performance of “For Good”. The supporting cast and ensemble also gave thrilling performances that made the show even better.
Wicked is filled with wit and creativity, from it’s foreshadowing in Act I to the inspiring message of combating adversity and judgement. It’s no surprise that this is the show’s fifth time in Minneapolis or that it’s run lasts over a month. Wicked is one of the most popular shows of all time and it always will be. It is the epitome of the perfect show. Outstanding casting, beautiful costumes and sets, and wondrous special effects give this show the it factor. Everyone should grab their broom and fly to the Orpheum before May 14th, or they’ll be sure to miss something truly wonderful.