The musical WICKED has been watched by millions of people around the world. It’s about time I added myself to the list. I attended a showing of WICKED at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.
First of all, I had heard a lot of great things about the show. Charles McNulty from the Los Angeles Times said that “WICKED is a phenomenon that keeps growing.” WICKED has won 35 major awards, including a Grammy award and three Tony awards. I knew it was going to be good.
We got to our seats, and could hear and feel the buzz of excitement in the room. I listened to the people sitting behind me rave about how great it was to their friend who had not seen it yet. The place was packed, and the show was enjoyable from the first note.
I didn’t know much about the musical itself before I went to see it, other than that it was wildly popular. It is known as “the untold story of the witches of Oz.” Before Dorothy comes to the land of Oz, two very different girls meet and get to know each other. One is a misunderstood, emerald-skinned outcast named Elphaba, and the other is blonde, beautiful and very popular. She is known as Galinda. The play is the story of how they grow to be friends, and eventually become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was humor. The play hadn’t been going on for long before I found myself laughing, and surprised. There was an abundance of funny lines and moments, which made the show even better. The singing voices of all the actors were incredible, and the story kept me engaged from start to end.
I wouldn’t recommend the show for young children who have trouble sitting still, because of the length of the play. This showing began shortly after 7:30 PM and ended right before 10:30. There was also a 15-minute intermission at about 9 PM (which interrupted the story, leaving me on the edge of my seat, waiting to get back to it). Other than the length, there was not too much that would be questionable for young children.
WICKED is all around the world. There are currently seven productions worldwide, including two North American tours, a Broadway production, a production in London, German and Japanese language productions, and an Australian production. According to a press release, “A Dutch-language production of WICKED will open later in 2011.” The same release also says that the show has broken box office records in every North American city it has played, including Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, DC, Philadelphia, Boston and others.
Overall, I found WICKED to be thoroughly entertaining, with bright and cheerful songs and dance, as well as some darker, more thought-provoking scenes. The catchy song “Popular” from the first act is still stuck in my head! I would recommend this show to anyone who has the chance to see it.
To purchase tickets for WICKED at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, now through April 3rd, click here.