Buy Tickets to see Wicked!
WICKED Musical currently playing on tour in Denver, CO (till Aug. 25) and moves to San Francisco, CA (from Aug. 28)

“Wicked: The Musical” is on its way to becoming the biggest money making franchise in theatre history. Its success is well deserved, as demonstrated at it’s opening in Tucson at UA’s Centennial Hall. However, this popularity is due not only to performing talent, but also to a level of quality control and product improvement.

“Wicked” is the imaginative backstory of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and her friendship with good witch and fellow student, Glinda. Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” used both L. Frank Baum’s original stories and the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz” as starting points. Maguire described a complex and violent history of events prior to Dorothy’s cathartic arrival from Kansas.

About Wicked Musical – Story:

Opening with a visitation by Glinda just after the death of the Wicked Witch, the story is told in flashback, including Elphaba’s conception and birth. It then jumps to their meeting and accidental pairing as roommates in college, where Glinda is empty-headed and popular and Elphaba is a smart, talented loner, though not necessarily by choice.

Glinda does a self-serving favor for Elphaba’s crippled sister (who will become the Wicked Witch of the East), leading Elphaba to get Glinda her first training wand.

After Elphaba’s radicalization into an animal rights activist and her confrontation with the Wizard, she is branded a terrorist. Glinda, by serving the state in its repression, is officially labeled, “the Good.”

The story of Glinda and Elphaba’s wary friendship, growing gradually into lifelong love and respect, is another dimension, as is Elphaba’s transition from outcast girl who desperately wants in, to empowered woman.

Wicked Cast – Top Performing Stars:

The stars of this production, Vicki Noon as Elphaba and Natalie Daradich as Glinda, are electric, especially in their numerous scenes together. Prior to being selected for this national touring company, they were both standby’s for their respective roles in the show’s 2009 San Francisco production. They were also both in the show’s Los Angeles cast.

Vicki Noon as Elphaba in Wicked

Vicki Noon as Elphaba in Wicked

Vicki Noon brings an incredibly powerful and assured voice. She commands the stage during her solos: giddy and hopeful in “The Wizard and I,” simultaneously vulnerable and courageous in “I’m Not That Girl,” and openly terrifying in “No Good Deed.” She also deftly handles her physical transition from awkward/angry schoolgirl to supernaturally empowered witch.

Actresses playing Glinda have a more difficult character arc, going from comic blonde to tragic leader. Daradich proved herself a master of physical comedy with her annoying perkiness, adroit dancing (both serious and goofy), giggles and girly leg flicks. Leaving the show, groups of girls were laughing as they re-enacted the “hair toss – toss – flutter” moves that she tries to teach Elphaba. As happiness eludes her, Daradich completely sells her tragic aspects with depth and nuance.

Natalie Daradich as Glinda in Wicked

Natalie Daradich as Glinda in Wicked

Natalie Daradich also well-voiced, though her character requires her to use more nasal tone and an excessive vibrato to undercut any potential seriousness. She demonstrated in the emotional final duet with Noon, “For Good,” that any affectation to her singing was a controlled professional choice.

The other cast members, they all do exemplary jobs in their respective parts, but their roles are numerous and minor in comparison to the two leads. However, the overall ensemble deserves mention for their outstanding singing and dancing.

As good as the “Dancing Through Life” scene was, it was dwarfed by the color and extravagance of the Emerald City number, “One Short Day.” The finale, when they have returned to their surrealistic Les Miserable mob style of the opening scene, singing what can only be described as the “Wicked” chord, is as perfect and memorable as an ending gets.

“Wicked: The Musical” has been shrewdly marketed – the franchise practically owns the color formerly known as “chartreuse.” Its quality control is formidable. Casting for all the productions is handled by a centralized company. Costuming, choreography, and set design are standardized. The only concessions to local variance are the venue’s requirements and the inclusion of nine area musicians to augment the touring company’s in-house band.

Wicked Musical will be a Big hit in Tucson AZ, performing through January 23, 2011. Tickets are still available for few shows. Buy Wicked Tucson Tickets Online and Save $10 on Wicked Ticket Orders over $350! Use Code AFF$10.

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Buy Tickets to see Wicked!

Buy Tickets to see Wicked!