Sunday, March 25, 2007

Something Wicked this way comes...

Saw Wicked tonight at Miami's new performing arts center (my dad was playing clarinet in the pit).

Big giant theater. We were way in the back (my sister and I). Like, literally in the very back row of a stadium-sized theater. So the experience was not that enjoyable.

This was my first time seeing Wicked, and it's a cute enough show, even pretty inspired at times, but overall, I didn't feel it lived up to the hype. Granted, these were not the Broadway actors, and there were even understudies stepping in for a few key roles, including Elphaba, so I'm sure it was far better on Broadway. Plus we were in the back row, and couldn't even see the actors that were in it. I may have missed some (or maybe all) of the actorly nuance from a mile up in the 5000th row.

Basically, it's the kind of typical Broadway musical material that needs extremely savvy performers to do it justice. Much of the dialogue was broad and shallow, and many of the songs were disposable. In the wrong hands, these kinds of gimmicky, populist musicals descend instantly into kitch. Not that these hands were wrong, per se, just not quite up to the task. I wish I'd seen it with Kristin Chenoweth.

But still, "Defying Gravity" is a great first act closing number, and the Oz tie-ins in the second act were quite amusing (the second act in general was much better). And I suppose the show has a good, humanistic message about how "wickedness" arises, and how things are not always what they seem. So, it's a good show. But I'm glad it didn't win the Tony.



Blogger DL said...

I saw Wicked when it came to Toronto a couple of months ago for the first time, and I pretty much had the same opinion as you - a bit of a letdown. The production was completely fine, but I found the score pretty weak in general.

3:59 PM  

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