Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wicked Good!

I saw Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz yesterday at the Providence Performing Arts Center. I've been wanting to see it since it was first taken on the road a couple of years ago, and I was not disappointed.

Anyone who knows me knows I love musicals. I get this from my mother, who sang show tunes to me when I was little instead of pop songs or children's tunes (and whose lovely singing voice I did not inherit). While I am certainly predisposed to enjoy a musical, I went to see Wicked with the Army Dude, who is more of an action-adventure kind of guy, and he loved it too.

I read the book it's based on (Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life And Times of The Wicked Witch of The West) several years ago, and I was eager to see how much of the original plot remained in the stage show. The answer is, a lot of it - which was refreshing after seeing movies where all that seems to be left of the original book are the title and the names of some of the characters. I refuse to watch Under A Tuscan Sun because I loved the book and I could tell from the previews that the story had been entirely changed.

Wicked did not disappoint. The original book is quite complex, but the writer did a great job of distilling the story into a three-hour running time. There were several funny references to the 1938 movie The Wizard Of Oz, as well as to details in the book only lightly touched on in the play.

The costumes were gorgeous, the acting, singing, and dancing were excellent, and the sets and lighting were amazing. The songs were fabulous - particularly the showstopper "Defying Gravity."

In short, I loved it. Wicked was wicked good.

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