Several years ago I watched a documentary on musicals. In that documentary they featured a ‘new’ musical called Wicked which was inspired by the classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’. As a fan of the classic movie starring Judy Garland, I thought it would be good to see ‘Wicked’.The story in Wicked is set in the time before Dorothy arrives in Oz and focuses on the relationship between the good witch Glinda and the wicked witch Elphaba.
I won’t go into the plot because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. However, I will say that I went see this show with an open mind and came out of the theatre feeling inspired and moved by what I had just experienced. From the outset I have to say that the music in this show is absolutely brilliant. The music for the show was composed by Stephen Schwartz who has had an amazing career.
From the opening song to the end, the music in this show is fantastic. Every song works perfectly to enhance and move the story along. However, what is wonderful about this show is that the songs incorporate so many different styles of music. There are ballads, show tunes and even more c contemporary sounding dance numbers. For me, I absolutely loved the songs ‘The Wizard and I’, ‘Dancing through Life’ and ‘Defying Gravity’. Each of these songs’ arrangements were beautiful. The groove and arrangements in ‘Dancing through Life’ were perfect. You have to hear the song for yourself because I couldn’t do it justice with words. ‘Defying Gravity’ is a killer song that has so much power and emotion and plays a pivotal part in the plot in Wicked. The climax in that song is wonderful and the roar and the applause of the audience was something I’ve never heard before in a theatre production. All I can say is that the music in Wicked is awesome and Stephen Schwartz definitely knows what he is doing. He knows how to capture an audience by creating beautiful melodies that are enhanced with wonderful orchestrations and arrangements.
The Australian cast for this show was fantastic. Bert Newton as ‘The Wizard’ was great. Lucy Durack as Glinda beautifully captured all facets of the character and Rob Mills was excellent as ‘Fiyero’ and I loved his voice in ‘Dancing through Life’. The highlight for me was Jemma Stevenson’s (understudy) portrayal of Elphaba. I feel in love with Jemma Stevenson’s voice as soon as I heard her sing. I loved her tone and her performance in ‘Defying Gravity’ was wonderful.
All in all, Wicked is a wonderful show and shouldn’t be missed. Go with an open mind, immerse yourself in the story, listen to the music and you’ll find that Wicked will make you feel good.
I’m going to see this show again.
By STEVE YANKO
About the Author
Steve Yanko is a Music Teacher, Musician, Song Writer & Consultant who loves working in the world of music.
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