It probably goes without saying how much of a Wizard of Oz fan I am. I mean, who hasn’t been wrapped up and carried away by the classic tale of four strangers embarking on a quest along the yellow brick road?
This year I’ve also seen Dorothy’s ruby slippers at the Victoria & Albert museum and I cannot wait for Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, which stars Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and James Franco.
So why has it taken me so long to check out Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz?
After all, when tweeting my photos last week, I’d discovered that there were quite a few peeps who had either seen it (and more than once) – or wanted to see it.
I guess I was being cautious because I was afraid that Oz’s spell over me would eventually break. Then, in a moment of serendipity, I was offered the opportunity to go along and see Wicked for myself last week – and to discover why this musical had crossed the USA from San Francisco to Broadway and then over the Atlantic to London in 2006. There must be a reason why Wicked is so popular and it has to be more than the underpinning of the 1939 Judy Garland film and L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
As soon as the curtain was raised, I was enraptured. The almost familiar sight of the monkeys and the introduction of Glinda (the good witch) made me feel at ease. But it was the songs that grabbed me from the start and didn’t let me go throughout.
Modern musicals can be risky and quite devastating if the songs don’t hit the right note. Why else are producers looking to music from established pop and rock acts, if not for the security of a ready-made audience?
The thing is that Wicked does pull it off and in spades. The story is also a real delight. I had no idea of what to expect and I’m not going to ruin anyone’s first time experience with a list of spoilers. But I will say that if you are a fan of the wonderful world of Oz, you will not be disappointed. The performances are spellbinding. Louise Dearman as Elphaba (the bad witch) and Gina Beck as the good witch demonstrate such powerful voices, they manage to pull off the weight of their characters without a hitch.
So if you are looking for a Christmas theatre trip or an escape to something magical – and of course, if you love musicals – I can’t recommend Wicked enough!
My Wicked tickets were a gift from lastminute.com – Thank you so much guys! x