The national tour of the musical “Wicked” was all it was promised to be and more. The Bass Concert Hall in Austin was filled to full capacity with an audience consisting of couples, families, children and everyone in between. After everyone was comfortable in their seats, the lights finally dimmed and the show began as the evil, little flying monkeys mischievously climbed the sides of the stage leading your eyes up to the giant, smoke-breathing mechanical “Time Dragon,” with his huge wings spreading along the top of the stage.
The orchestra began to play music written by lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz, and the crisp music captivated the entire audience with it’s thrilling beats and entertaining choruses that always kept me guessing. Chills raced down my back as the opening scene began.
“Wicked” tells the untold story of the developing friendship of the witches of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good and is told from the perspective of the witches while they struggle through opposing personalities, viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest and their reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government.
The Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t always labeled as “wicked.” In fact Elphaba, her real name, starts out as a caring help to her sister who is confined to a wheelchair as she demonstrates a kind heart. Imagine trying to live your life being green! That is what Elphaba has to deal with along with the normal problems we all have to face in life. It’s interesting to see and empathize with Elphaba during the performance. My heart went out to that poor green girl as she was teased and misunderstood. Glinda, the beautiful and popular blonde, really does have a good heart and tries to help Elphaba through her struggles in any way she can. The two become close friends amidst all the turmoil and other issues swirling and intertwining around their relationship.
Throughout the musical, many of your lingering questions stemming from “The Wizard of Oz” will be answered including the stories behind the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion and how the Wicked Witch of the East came to be. And where did the flying monkeys originate? You will be amazed at the new knowledge that will be unveiled to you during the play and the timely underlying lessons to be learned.
The music, the ornate stage props and realistic backdrops along with the larger-than-life actors singing and dancing make for an incredible visual spectacle.
Does Elphaba truly turn wicked? Can the two women’s friendship be salvaged? Who will be your favorite witch? You have to come and experience this impressive musical to find out!
WHEN: Playing in Austin through February 12, 2012. Performance times vary.
TICKETS: Ph. 512-477-6060 or 1-800-687-6010. Tickets can be purchased online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here.