It finally happened, I’ve finally seen Wicked! Oh my, it’s been a month since I saw it at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, and all you’re getting is this blog, two pictures of the stage and a picture of the programme.
I got most of the current cast, with the exception of Savannah Stevenson, her standby Sophie Linder-Lee was used. Emma Hatton was brilliant as Elphaba, the green skinned underdog – honey I kept rolling my eyes with you. Her acting and singing were on point, you felt her hope when she was singing about meeting & working with the Wizard in ‘The Wizard & I’, of course you also felt the irony and foreshadowing since we’ve just seen the previous scene with Glinda & the Ozians with ‘No One Mourns the Wicked’. You felt her despair with the powerhouse that is ‘No Good Deed’, I was left in awe with her voice and the awesomeness in the theatre visual effects that was ‘Defying Gravity’, when Elphaba becomes one with the background, her newly acquired broom, the lights, the smoke machine and the wind; I was left amazed and gobsmacked. It was a stunning way to end act one.
Sophie Linder-Lee was brilliant as Glinda (formerly known as Galinda), her “toss, toss” will forever be stuck in my brain for all eternity. Glinda is that OTT Miss Goody Two Shoes, who might not be as good as you think, plus you might want to punch her. Sophie conveyed that well, she might not have over-exagerrated her performance as the other actresses have done, but it was enough for me. The song ‘What is This Feeling?’ has grown to become my favourite song from this musical, Glinda with her hard to describe description of Elphaba and Elphaba’s deadpan “blonde” is a certified crowd pleaser. The audience and I cracked up at it and every video I’ve seen, the audience always have the same reaction.
The rest of the cast were fantastic, I now understand the fascinationall Wicked fans have with “Fiyero pants”, those were highly tight and very distracting especially during ‘Dancing Through Life’, sorry Jeremy Taylor, but I’m a mere mortal – I couldn’t help myself. Shout out to the Flying Monkeys with their acrobatics and general climbing on the gears. To the fantastic crew, who built the sets, the costumes, the prosthetics and the stunning visuals that made me question CGI…just wow, practical stunts and effects still live on.
The music, of course I’ll talk about the music – it’s a musical. If you’re a fan of Disney music, you’ll be a fan of this. Stephen Schwartz, the man responsible for being the composer or lyricist or both to Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt & Enchanted. That’s just a Class A drug right there for lovers of Disney music. Yes, the lyrics can be saccharine and you’ll scratch your head at least once. eg the word disgusticified in ‘What is This Feeling?’ You’ll find yourself dancing at least once, yes ‘What is This Feeling?’ You’ll laugh at least once at the absurdity of it all, see ‘Popular’, where Glinda thinks a flower in Elphaba’s loosened hair makes her really beautiful, plus that all the great intelligent people were just popular. The YOLO song – ‘Defying Gravity’, ‘No Good Deed’ also kinda falls in this category, maybe it’s more of the to-hell-with-this-BS song…The you’ll roll your eyes at the crowd, basically any song with the chorus/ensemble cast, except ‘One Short Day’ – I really wish they stayed longer. The OMG-he-might-have-a-point song – ‘Wonderful’. The seriously-I’ll-kill-the-ensemble-cast-this-second song – ‘March of the Witch Hunters’. The this-song-starts-nice-but-now-the-foreshadowing-with-the-couples-kinda-makes-want-to-cry song – ‘Dancing Through Life’, I also call it this is all your fault Glinda song. Seriously, the only couple that technically make it to the end are Elphaba & the pointy hat. Okay I’ll stop now.
Wicked has been a long journey for me, ever since I watched the episode of Ugly Betty that introduced it and ‘Defying Gravity’ to me. So to finally watch and experience it will forever make me happy. Shame I would never experience the original Broadway cast, especially Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda – one of the few women I’ll tolerate with advanced OTT acting, I’d honestly watch her sing about watching paint dry, while she waltzed around with maniacal glee. Idina Menzel as Elphaba, will of course always get a mention, the woman has been fortunate in being able to sing a few YOLO songs in her time. I know, I know, some of you are still suffering from Frozen & ‘Let it Go’, it’s not her fault, she’s been blessed. Oh well, I’ve been rocking the original Broadway a Cast recording of Wicked….a tad bit too much. I regret nothing.
Happy New Year Folks! Better late than never!!! I honestly don’t know why I’ve that many exclamation marks…