Wicked Still Popular in Vancouver!

Wicked is a Broadway smash hit based on the novel of how the characters from Wizard of Oz came to be before Dorothy arrived. What I love most about this story is the different perspective it gives on Gah-linda (the gah is silent) the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. It begins with the death of the Wicked Witch, Elphaba, and the reign of Glinda. She gets asked by the citizens of Oz if she was friends with the Witch. Then she retells the story of what happened; from the conception of Elphaba to the beginning of their school year to their journey to Oz together, then finally to her death. Along the way of this we see how the Lion became cowardly, how the Tin Man lost his heart, and how the Scarecrow lost his brain. There are even glimpses of Dorothy and her little dog, Dodo- I mean, Toto.

I had seen Wicked in London in 2010 and I remember loving it so much that when it came to Vancouver in 2011, I went to go see it again. However, I remember that show being not that… memorable. But this time around with a new cast it definitely brought back the magic. Kara Lindsay, who plays Glinda, is perfect for the part, keeping her adorable and easily lovable. Her squeals and funny antics are over the top always making sure the audience is engaged and laughing. The lady sitting behind me laughed so hard at one time she made me jump. I must also mention the gorgeous costumes of Glinda. Her princess blue gown, pink party dress, and yellow ‘out on the Emerald City’ dress certainly made me jealous of her wardrobe. Though Glinda keeps stealing the show, Laurel Harris who plays Elphaba proves to be multi-talented with her amazing voice and acting. She’s the awkward green-skinned brainy girl who couldn’t be any more opposite than the glowing bouncy Glinda but the two of them have a dynamic chemistry that works well together starting out as rivals, roommates then eventually a peculiar couple of BFFs.

Wicked is wickedly written, with clever lines here and there to delight the audience. The award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote for Pocahontas, Enchanted, and the Prince of Egypt, knows how to write songs that are catchy and will most likely get stuck in your head for weeks afterwards. Defying Gravity is a fan favorite and the image of Elphaba in the air majestically belting out the song with the lights shining down on her is hauntingly captivating. Another couple favorites is Glinda’s Popular and Fiyero played by Matt Shingledecker’s Dancing Through Life.

It is definitely worth it to catch this award-winning musical with this particular cast, orchestra, direction, and costumes. In a rare musical with two strong female leads, both Lindsay and Harris knock it out of the park together and separately.

Wicked is performing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from now until June 29. Please visit Broadway Across Canada or Ticketmaster.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

Disclosure: This has been a guest post by Michelle Ngai. Tickets to the show were received from Broadway Across Canada free of charge. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely the author's and have not been influenced in any other way.

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