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Wicked Stage Review by Jeff Ritter, from the-trades.com

Read the review below:

I’ve been privileged to see Grease and Avenue Q at the Fabulous Fox Theatre this year, and enjoyed them both. But I wasn’t terribly surprised in either case — I’ve seen “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John on TV more than a few times and I had heard many of the songs from Avenue Q long before I saw the show a couple of years ago. The second time around was still a blast, but the real pleasure was watching the reactions of the stunned newcomers who had no idea what they were in for.

Tonight I was one of those folks, a first time visitor to the land of Oz brought to life on the grand stage. I highly enjoyed the show and can honestly say I’ll never watch the Julie Garland film the same way ever again.

The national tour of Wicked features Natalie Daradich as Glinda the Good and Vicki Noon as Elphaba, the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. Daradich was excellent, with a strong, clear and high voice, and terrific comic timing. I truly wasn’t expecting Glinda to be laugh-out-loud funny! Vicki Noon was regrettably replaced halfway through tonight’s performance, with Anne Brummel taking over the role of the tragically misunderstood green-skinned witch. Both were wonderful as Elphaba, and the character’s serious, often dour demeanor contrasted nicely with Glinda’s bubbly cheerfulness. Brummel’s lower octaves carried her pathos nicely.

It was great not having any preconceived notions about the musical, because I did not see the “odd couple” aspect coming at all. I never would have thought Glinda and Elphaba were ever friends from the 1939 film. From the opening scenes that find the young sorceresses arriving at a school younger audiences will think of as Hogwarts, to the touching dramatic turns in life and love by the end of the first act, I found myself drawn into Oz like never before, finding ways to dovetail the live performance with my movie memories. Brummel thankfully didn’t overuse the witchy Margaret Hamilton cackle, and Daradich at times was so playful I had to remind myself how prim and proper Billie Burke’s Glinda was. After being vilified in Act One, Elphaba and Glinda fill in the blanks about what was going on in Oz while the movie cameras followed Dorothy and Toto in Act Two.

“Wicked” is at The Fox Theatre through July 11, 2010. Buy now and Save $10 on Wicked Fabulous Fox Theatre-St. Louis MO Ticket Orders Over $350! Code AFF$10.

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Buy Tickets to see Wicked!


Buy Tickets to see Wicked!