Broadway Across America’s production of Wicked had many ladies either dressing wicked or hoping to dress wicked with purchases of cool t-shirts on opening night. Not withstanding the sentiment of getting wicked with your mate, Wicked is a fun mental twist of viewpoint asking viewers to question the traditional story of the Wizard of Oz.
Background Knowledge about Wicked’s Source of Inspiration
For those that don’t remember the Wizard of Oz, heroine Dorothy is caught by a tornado in Kansas and wakes up to find she’s killed the Wicked Witch of the East with her house in the land of Oz. Dorothy’s story revolves around her quest to return home with her dog Toto. She’s initially met by Glinda the Good Witch, sent down the yellow brick road where she encounters the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion . After facing sleeping sickness and attacks by winged monkeys, Dorothy reaches the Emerald City and asks for a meeting with the Wizard of Oz then is captured by the Wicked Witch of the West. The Tin Woodman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion break in to rescue her and she kills the Wicked Witch of the West by throwing a bucket of water on her. Oz is free and after discovering the Wizard of Oz was a fake, Glinda teaches Dorothy how to return home.
How Does Wicked Alter the Viewpoint of the Wizard of Oz
One thing that is fun about Wicked is that it uses the same cast of characters as in the Wizard of Oz, but the story is told from the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witches’ points of view, starting from when they are school girls and explaining their reputations.
Why Does the Different Viewpoint in Wicked Add to the Entertainment Value
Rather than sharing the secret of how the Wicked Witch of the West gets wicked, it’s fun to share that what is important about this play is that it teaches people to look from alternative viewpoints. People used to seeing someone as the enemy may find that there are good reasons for events and perceptions that don’t necessarily make the villain a bad person. Plus, rather than a Fifties style country home story told by the Wizard of Oz, Wicked spends more time finding amusing dialog for the two main heroines and also delivers a bit of humor in the sense of the ridiculous that comes about from knowing both stories.
About the Broadway Across America Production of Wicked at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando
Both heroine’s sing beautifully-Glinda is played by Chandra Lee Schwartz and Elphaba, her Wickedness, is played by Jackie Burns. Their solos and duets are very beautiful and many times touching and their gift of comic interplay is excellent. The supporting cast keeps things moving. The sets are worthy of Disney’s town. The music is provided by a live band consisting of a one drummer, three keyboard players and one guitarist and a mini-orchestra of nine local musicians. The facilities at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center provide suitable bathrooms for both sexes, refreshments, plenty of parking and accessibility for the handicapped via an elevator, although walking a short distance maybe required.
Wicked is in Orlando through March 27, 2011. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787