A Wicked Sensation

April 30, 2009
By Taylor Sheehan BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
Taylor Sheehan BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Dazzling costumes, unexpected romance, and lessons about true friendship. These all may be familiar characteristics of a play, however, no play compares to the sensational Broadway hit, Wicked. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, it takes ideas from the infamous film, The Wizard of Oz, and expands on them, explaining the untold story of Oz. The story focuses on two enemies, turned best friends; Glinda (Annaleigh Ashford) and Elphaba (Dee Roscioli). Glinda is perceived to be perfect while being adored by everyone. Elpahaba, on the other hand, never had a true friend and just did not belong. To make things even more complicated, Elphaba was born with green skin! To their dismay, they were roommates and both resented the other, completely based off first impressions and obvious imperfections. However, throughout the many dramatic events, they grew closer and came realize the true kindness within the other. This “untold story” has grown into a box office blowout! People everywhere are talking about this must-see production, and now I can see why. The colors and sets on the stage intensify every scene, the music is spine chilling, and the lessons are actually meaningful.

Within moments, you are completely drawn into this strange land called Oz. The glaring red eyes of a dragon illuminate the stage. Your eyes always appear to be wandering, unsure what to take in first. The set design could only be magic, from Galinda floating in her magic bubble to Elphaba flying with her broom thirty feet in the air, the stage managers truly made the story come to life. The bright colors and flickering lights in every scene, along with the intricate costumes such as the flying monkeys, allow your mind to escape into the world of Oz.

One of the most spectacular parts of this play is without a doubt, the beautiful yet original music. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, I repeatedly found myself with chills throughout the performance. It combines traditional rhythms and familiar sounding tunes with new twists, forming together to produce perfection. To my own embarrassment, I could not stop humming the tune of many songs, and literally went Best Buy right after to purchase the soundtrack. There is something unique within the music that cannot be found elsewhere.

The most important reason why Wicked is a must see, is because of its meaningful message to the audience. As they should, both Annaleigh Ashford and Dee Roscioli completely stole the show, teaching us about friendship and true love. Glinda and Elphaba begin by constantly getting on the other’s nerves, however, after spending time together, Glinda realizes that first impressions really are not everything and that people who appear different have real feelings too. On the other hand, drama occurs when Elphaba falls in love with Glinda’s “future husband” and boyfriend, Fiyero (Kristoffer Cusick). Surprising to Elphaba, Fiyero has feelings for her in return, and as a result conflict erupts between the girls. In the audience, suspense is a frequent feeling, unsure which way the story could go.

Overall, Wicked is a play that will be forever captured as a wonderful memory. Directed by Joe Mantello, the cast delivers an exceptional performance with the help of the exquisite costumes, sets, and props. The music, sung to perfection by the star witches, Ashford and Roscioli, is nearly addictive. In the end, the powerful message, (which you will find out after seeing it), is what sets this play above the rest; it is nothing but a wicked success.

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