Thursday, June 6, 2013

What an Oz-some Night....The Return of Wicked

Glinda and Elphaba
Last night, I had the opportunity to take the family to see the Broadway show Wicked at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus.  This was my third time to see it and it seems to get better each time!

The story is basically a prequel to the story of the Wizard of Oz and attempts to explain what all is going on when Dorothy arrives.  However, it's a story like you've never heard with lots of plot twists and turns that you never expected.

The show starts by showing how Glinda, the Good Witch, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, met in school.  Like any relationship between strong personalities, their story has its ups and downs, but after a rocky start as rivals they become friends.

Jenn Gambatese, an Ohio native, stars as Glinda and does a great job of portraying the self-absorbed blonde with great vocal range and a flair for the overly dramatic.  She has great comedic timing and provides plenty of laughs with her antics.

The star of the show is Alison Luff, who has only been portraying Elphaba for just over a month since joining the team.  While she may not have been 'greenified' for very long, she pulls off the performance with aplomb.  Her vocal skills were so outstanding that my oldest daughter leaned over to me at one point and said "Dad, she sings better than the Elphaba on the (original cast recording) CD."  That's pretty high praise.  She also did a great job of portraying the misunderstood girl who grew up to wear the label of Wicked Witch.  Of the three different performers I've seen portray the Elphaba character, she was definitely the best.  The young woman has some serious pipes and had the best rendition of "Defying Gravity" that I've heard.

Curt Hansen was strong in his role as Fiyero, the love interest of both of the main characters as well as some of the swooning women in the packed house.  He also nailed his songs including his duet with Luff on "As Long As You're Mine", which is my personal favorite song in the show.

Fiyero and Elphaba singing "As Long As You're Mine"
 Kim Zimmer as Madame Morrible and John Davidson as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz both brought plenty of experience on stage and television to the show and did a good job in their roles.  The rest of the cast was also outstanding and never missed a beat.

This show will be in Columbus until June 23.  If you have never seen it, it's a three-hour journey that will have you on the edge of your seat and ready to cheer as the cast puts on what I personally feel is the most enjoyable Broadway show there is.  For more information on purchasing tickets or even a shot to get great seats for cheap through the nightly Wicked lottery, visit the CAPA website at:

How much do I like this show?  I would go to the performance each night if my schedule and bank account would allow it.  In fact, I need to see if there is a way to volunteer to be an usher because it would be worth it just to hear the show each night.  It's that good!


Laura Anderson said...

I saw this when it came to Rochester a few months ago and I loved it, I had heard so many good things about it but had never had the chance to see it. Now every time it comes here I think I will have to see it!

MVNUSID said...

I agree, Laura! I even check big cities that I'm going to be in to see if it might be showing when I'm there. It's worth the price of admission.