It’s been four years since Wicked left Sydney and a decade since it opened on Broadway, but seeing Wicked at the Capitol Theatre feels like it hasn’t aged a day. Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, the story starts well before Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz reaches the Emerald City and focuses on the unusual friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba and the Good Witch of the South G(a)linda.
Big budget and truly magical, Wicked does not disappoint. Lucy Durack returns and shines as the frustratingly optimistic Glinda, though occasionally overplays the character and mimics the performance done by Kristin Chenoweth when the show opened. Jemma Rix, who was the understudy for Elphaba last time, takes centre stage again and plays the character astoundingly well. The pre-interval song ‘Defying Gravity’ is exhilarating, however, the rest of the show doesn’t quite match up to the excitement of that moment.
The deep themes of the musical – conformity, social security, the nature of evil and anti-establishment – all make for singularly complex musical entertainment which, in combination with the amazing set and costuming, establish Wicked as an unforgettable and wonderful night of musical theatre. Don’t miss it.
Originally published in BULL Magazine, October 21, 2014.