Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Elphaba And Glinda Are Dead

Went with Noreen to see Wicked last night at the Oriental Theatre. The cast was headlined by Ana Gasteyer, formerly of Saturday Night Live, as Elphaba (i.e., The Wicked Witch Of The West). The real star power was provided, however, by Kate Reinders as Glinda, who fully inhabits the role of ditzy blonde automaton who eventually grows something of a conscience.

The book was essentially the back story of the Wizard of Oz, eventually becoming more than a little like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead -- weaving its way into and out of the well-known story, providing an alternate take on the well-worn tale in which bad is good and good is ... well, not so good.

The animating idea is that things are not always what they seem. What is proclaimed as evil is not always so, and what is assumed as good (and is not so subtly prone to malapropisms) is also not necessarily so. The songs weren't particularly memorable, and the production was suitably full of the expected bells and whistles, but Gasteyer and especially Reinders are more than up to the task of carrying the show.


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