From the lobby bar cocktails to the costumes, the Regent Theatre has been painted green in honour of Wicked: The Musical which I had the pleasure of seeing last weekend!
The gravity defying musical Wicked has rolled back into Melbourne for another season at the Regent Theatre and there’s just something about that green skinned, broomstick-riding Wicked Witch of the West that I really seem to connect with.
While I am neither green nor a broomstick rider, it’s Elphaba’s fierce determination to firstly, succeed and secondly, fight for a worthy cause that make her character incredibly admirable. While her “the-ends-justify-the-means” persona and her decree that no good deed goes unpunished, categorise her into the villain trope, I maintain that Elphaba is a worthy role model, more so that Wicked’s other protagonist Glinda the “Good Witch” whose thoughts and actions are all driven by vanity and popularity.
Don’t get me wrong – Glinda has her moments, she is after all, the good witch. She’s fiercely loyal and has an unwavering determination like Elphaba to succeed although her vision of success seems so much shallower and egotistical. Nonetheless, I have unashamedly had the chorus of Popular stuck in my head all week.
I love musicals there’s no denying, but Wicked is undoubtedly a favourite of mine. Yes, the storyline, songs and characters are phenomenal but it’s the smaller things, perhaps the things that go unnoticed by the masses that really impress me.
The extraordinary costumes are some of the best from any musical I’ve watched. The citizens of Oz in their quirky frocks, all embellished in that beautiful emerald green colour, nearly out-shadowed the main cast. Of course, this is complimented by a very cleverly designed set. Despite having seen Wicked before, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when thousands of tiny green lights lit up the stage upon our first glimpse of the Emerald City!
And then there’s those clever, witty connections to The Wizard of Oz. Knowing that story like the back of my hand, it’s easy to be impressed with the script of Wicked that mentions that annoying dog “Dodo,” and explains the origins of our beloved Scarecrow and Tin-Man.
Wicked is a world-class production that impresses on all fronts. Diehard musical theatre fans will be blown away by the soundtrack, fashion lovers will swoon over the costumes, children will love the theatricality and humour and adults will surely appreciate the ingenuity of the parallels to the original Oz story. There is quite literally something to impress everyone.
If you’ve only ever thought of the Wicked Witch of the West as the nasty woman who tormented Judy Garland, Wicked will bring a whole new side of Elphaba to light and truly help you see that there are two sides to every story, and both deserve to be told.