|The hit musical Wicked now at the Academy of Music
posted by Ralph Malachowski on Aug 7, 2017 10:30am | comments
Mention the musical Wicked to just about anyone, and you will never hear anything bad said about it. As a matter of fact, anyone you ask has probably seen it two or three times. Wicked has been playing on Broadway for years, so that may not be so surprising. Good news! A fabulous touring production of Wicked has just landed in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music and you have only until August 27 to see it. Don’t miss it.
Wicked’s Music and Lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz, with Book by Winnie Holman based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Wicked is the prequel, if you will, to The Wizard of Oz. Wicked tells us how the witches came to be and why they might be seen as wicked or good, with an alternative spin on Dorothy. It gives us a bit of background on the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion before they met Dorothy. There are differences. For example, in The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Woodsman became tin because of a magic spell which forced him to cut off his limbs, with a magic metal smith replacing them until he became entirely metal. In Wicked, we learn of a very different reason for the Tin Man being tin.
Wicked is chock-full of great production values: magnificent scenery; snappy lighting; lavish costumes; excellent stage movement executed brilliantly; and assured actors who seem to really enjoy what they are doing.
Among the Creative Talent are such luminaries as: Eugene Lee, Sets; Susan Hilferty, Costumes; Kenneth Posner, Lighting; Elaine McCarthy, Projections; and Tom Watson, Wigs and Hair.
Jessica Vosk is Elphaba and Ginna Claire Mason is Glinda. Both women are spectacular. Isabel Keating is Madame Morrible, and alternating in the role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are Fred Applegate (from July 26 through August 20) and Tom McGowan (July 22through July 27). Jeremy Woodard is the incredibly sexy Fiyero. Woodard’s Fiyero enters in blazing heat which explains why everyone falls in love with him. And why not? His tight white pants alone could make anyone’s Kinsey Scale flutter. It helps that he knows how to use them. Some may think the sight of him capering about the stage during the musical number “Dancing Through Life” should earn the production a PG rating (Ok, maybe an R.). Speaking of musical numbers, this is a musical, and there are plenty of them. Dan Micciche conducts the live band, making the few musicians sound like an orchestra. Two men deserve special mention for their distinguished accomplishments: Wayne Cilento, responsible for Musical Staging, and the great Director, Joe Mantello.
The Broadway hit, Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is at the Philadelphia Academy of Music until August 27. It is a presentation of the Kimmel’s Broadway Philadelphia 2016-2017 Season. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.kimmelcenter.org