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So much happened before Dorothy dropped in. Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz
is the endearing musical that tells the tale of what happens in the Land of Oz before Dorothy arrives. The Broadway sensation has been mesmerizing audiences with the story of a girl, born with emerald-green skin -- smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships.
With a thrilling score by Stephen Schwartz that includes the hits "Defying Gravity," "Popular" and "For Good," Wicked
has been hailed by The New York Times
as "the defining musical of the decade."
is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
The saucy yet tenderhearted musical tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba – who will later become the Wicked Witch of the West – when they meet at college in the Land of Oz. The two girls couldn’t be more different: Elphaba, who was born entirely green, grew up as an outcast, and she’s feisty, principled and not afraid to speak her mind. Blonde, chirpy Glinda’s first appearance says it all: She descends in a bubble, wearing a sparkly princess dress and is always surrounded by fawning friends and admirers.
Elphaba and Glinda evolve from foes to friends, with plenty of squabbles, political "innuendo and outuendo" and merry adventures along the way. The gals battle over the dashing prince Fiyero and fly off to the Emerald City to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, who may not be not so wonderful after all.
The catchy songs and lively choreography are crowd-pleasers, but it’s the smart, slyly humorous dialogue that gets the most delighted laughs – especially when the original Wizard of Oz
movie is referenced through the Yellow Brick Road, Toto and the ruby slippers.
Rivaling the story is the impressive set, designed by Tony Award-winner Eugene Lee, which is constructed out of the whirring machinery of a giant clock and presided over by a flashing-eyed dragon. The costumes and makeup are also eye-catching, and Elphaba’s green skin is a memorable metaphor: In the same way that the characters learn to start "looking at things in a different way," so does the audience with Elphaba’s green sheen.
Currently at the Gershwin Theatre on 50th Street and Broadway, the production is electrifying from the first note to the final breathtaking moment. WICKED
transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story. It will send your spirits soaring to heights you’ll never forget.
Two hours and 45 minutes (one intermission)
Good for kids?
has a smart, sophisticated plot, but it’s playful throughout, which greatly appeals to kids. Highlights for the little ones include the enthusiastic, high-kicking dances; the richly intricate set that looks like the interior of a giant clock; and the elaborate costumes and makeup, from Elphaba’s green skin to Glinda’s princess dresses and magic wands. Some parts may be long and scary for children under 8, however, so parents should exercise judgment about whether the show is appropriate for their child. No one under 4 is permitted in the theater.
Did you know?
Famed Broadway and television actress Kristin Chenoweth originated the role of Glinda on Broadway, for which she was nominated for a Tony.
In the original Broadway production of Wicked
, the Wizard of Oz was played by the esteemed actor Joel Grey, of Cabaret
has gone far beyond Broadway, with productions in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and London, among others.
How long does it take for Elphaba to turn green
? The various actresses who have performed the role have said that the makeup process can last anywhere from a half hour to an hour. To get it off? No more than 15 minutes.
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