Wicked at the Pantages Theatre Review - Take me to Oz!

Wicked is so powerful that the magical spell that is casts on everyone will never be broken.  Unlike the movie, this musical, takes us back to a time before Dorothy arrived.  It is the untold story of the Witches of Oz.  Two girls meet in Oz.  One is born with emerald-green skin and her personality is fiery, intelligent and misunderstood, while the other is beautiful, driven and very popular. 

Eden Espinoza as Elphaba

Throughout their friendship, of course there are some bumps in the road.  Without ruining it, there is the conflict over the same love-interest, personality clashes and disagreement in each others views.  The story shows how these two, who seem unlikely to become friends, later on come to be the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. 

Eden Espinoza and Megan Hilty give such strong performances as leads in the show, playing Elphaba and Glinda.  Both of the actresses originated in the production of Wicked and returned on October 31 to complete the final stretch of the long-run show in Los Angeles.  Other cast members include Carol Kane, David Garrison, and Derrick Williams. 

The entire cast of the musical is nothing short of amazing!  Overacting is not even an issue in this production.  The tone and pitch of the singing, and the choreography in the dancing was untouchable. Wicked was told in such a fashion that everything just fell right into place.  The cast truly brings the story of Oz to life, and I must say, it is wicked!

The elaborate set and costumes are only a piece of the block that completes this yellow-brick road of success!  Make-up designs ensure that these characters are developed down to a T.  The special effects that lit up the stage is unbelievable every time.  Every piece of this production reiterates why Wicked is getting such rave reviews for a phenomenal job!

 

As the perfect backdrop for the show, the Pantages Theatre was breathtaking.  Upon entering, I felt like I was taken away to a place outside of Hollywood.  The décor is spectacular and there is not a one bad seat in the house.  The one complaint that I do have is the size of the bathrooms.  At intermission, the line was so long and I could see the frustration on all of the ladies’ faces who thought that they would never make it in time.

Wicked Ensemble

Megan Hilty (right) as Glinda and Eden Espinosa (left) as Elphaba

Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked brings lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman.  The musical staging is done by none other than the Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, and the entire production is directed by the 2003-2004 Tony Award winner Joe Mantello.  The box office breaking production of Wicked comes highly recommended from me.  The performance is nothing short of stunning! 

With a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, this production is recommended for ages 8 and up.  Take the whole family and enjoy an evening where the stage comes to life!  Tickets for Wicked are only on sale from now until January 11, 2009.  The show is performed on Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.  The address is: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90028.  For more information on the Theatre, call 323-468-1770.  Cost: $35 - $202.50.  To purchase tickets, go to http://www.ticketmaster.com/Wicked-Los-Angeles-CA-tickets/artist/1085291

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