by Joselle Dizon
Broadway’s hit musical Wicked shares the untold story of the witches based off of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West which is an alternate portrayal of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, and L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The renowned production celebrated its eleventh anniversary this year.
On October 30th, 2014, “Wicked” reached its eleventh year of production with great success. The timeless story and talented actors are responsible for the noteworthy achievements of the show. Actress Idina Menzel starred in the musical’s early performances along with Kristin Chenoweth and Joel Grey. Since its debut at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City, Wicked has won Tony Awards for best actors as well as Grammy Awards for best album.
Christine Dwyer who is part of the current cast of the production as protagonist Elphaba, has performed in the world-renowned musical Rent prior to her debut on the Gershwin Theatre for Wicked. Other important cast members include Jenni Barber, who portrays Elphaba’s unlikely best friend Glinda; and Justin Guarini, a former American Idol contestant, as her secret lover. These actors contribute to the great entertainment of the musical. The smooth recitation of lines from the script and the subtle gestures make their performance so much better. The fact that they can sing and act simultaneously is outstanding and continues to define New York City as a prominent location for the American Entertainment industry.
The musical numbers from the show are easily the most enjoyable part of the production. The hidden orchestra plays a loud combination of trumpets and percussion as the actors sing along. Some of the most well-known songs include “Defying Gravity,” “The Wizard and I,” and “Popular.” The performers sing beautifully as they hit high notes with poised perfection, and harmonize with one another with confidence. Simple choreography is infused into the movements of the characters as they sing, making their actions even smoother.
The undeniable success of Wicked is clear through the audience. Not one person leaves the theatre without a smile. The cast is given a standing ovation at the end of every performance. The musical is certainly planned to go on for many years to come and continues to leave behind a magical legacy.
Photos by Joselle Dizon