The famous tale of an underdog taking a stand for what is right is a classic tale told by many movies and musicals. Audiences cannot get enough of stories that end in happy endings. This well-known path however, was rerouted in one of Braodway’s most popular musicals, Wicked. Wicked, directed by Joe Mantello, follows the tale of Elphaba, more famously known as The Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good and their colorful friendship. The show is one of Broadway’s most favorite musicals, and it isn’t hard to see why. It leaves the audience in their own bubble, and ready to defy gravity. With amazing talent and technical elements, Wicked easily keeps its status as one of the best shows on Broadway.
Elphaba has always known that due to her… verdigris, she’s different. This has made her sarcastic and defensive, which makes for an interesting mix. Not only is her part a difficult one to portray, the role of Elphaba is vocally challenging as well. Jessica Vosk amazed the audience in her performance. She easily gave Elphaba the snarky attitude needed, but allowed the audience to peek into her past and see what events molded her into who she was. Many times she had the audience roaring in applause before her songs were even over. In showstoppers such as “No Good Deed” and “Defying Gravity” the audience was left awestruck at the talent Vosk showed. Her powerful and moving performance was equally matched by Ginna Claire Mason, who enlightened the audience in her portrayal as the bubbly Glinda. Mason was every bit as lively as she was feisty, often times acting as the comedic relief of the show. The two actresses’ chemistry was admirable, the care they both had for each other shined through clearly during the performance, making the show absolutely magical.
Wicked takes place in the fictional land of Oz. Mastering costuming and sets for a world that doesn’t exist seems a daunting task, but for costume designer Susan Hilferty and lighting designer Kenneth Posner, the impossible was conquered. Hilferty’s eye for detail in each costume was eminent. Every actor was noticed on stage, the costumes for “One Short Day” consisted of beautiful “A-list” worthy pieces that hypnotized the audience. The wonderful costumes only added to the visual appeal that Posner created. Many scenes of the show had undertones of green, the color never quite leaving the stage. Green backlights would emit from the sets, and green spotlights never let the audience forget about the young witch we’re all rooting for. Both Hilferty and Posner defied all expectations, and made the show soar.
The technical elements of the show were extremely impressive. The only actual mishap occurring during the show was in the opening number. Glinda arrives from a bubble, falling from the ceiling of the theatre, and during the performance her bubble cascaded down, and remained in the wing, hiding her from the majority of the audience. The only other complaint that could be argued, was the volume of Elphaba’s microphone during certain time of the show. Vosk’s powerful voice rang through the theatre but at the climax of all of her songs, her voice could’ve been more audible.
The show was virtually flawless, those two instances were both easily forgotten. Wicked continues to prove its place among the most elite of Broadway shows, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. I highly recommend you find your way the see the famous witches of Oz before they fly their way to the next city on May 14.