Theater Review: Wicked @ The Kenendy Center
Before visionary director Sam Raimi dabbled in an oz prequel with the film Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013, Wicked played to sold-out crowds worldwide. The beloved Iconic musical returns to the world-renowned Kennedy Center for a holiday residency. Composer Stephan Schwartz and dramatist Winnie Holzman first collaborated on the adaption of Gregory Maguire's book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West in 2003.
Long before Dorothy arrived, another young woman was the center of attention in the Land of Oz. The emerald-green-skinned heroine Elphaba Thropp (Lissa Deguzman) has exceptional talent, is intelligent, fiery, misunderstood, and possesses unconventional intelligence. Wanting to develop Elphana's talent, her father sends her and her sister Nessarose to an elite boarding school in the city of Shiz. Initially, Elphaba has trouble adapting, and her only friend is Dr. Dillamond, who happens to be half man/half goat.
Making matters unintentionally more problematic is her roommate, the exceptionally popular social climber Galinda a bubbly blonde. . To the surprise of both girls, though, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships until the world decides to call one "good" and the other one "wicked."
I had always heard positive things about Wicked but never knew the meat of the story. I entered the play blind and found myself quickly engaged. What I loved most about the play was the references and callbacks to The Wizard of Oz.
If the goal of Wicked is to look at what happened in the Land of Oz from a different perspective, it succeeds quickly. The cast all brought their A-game to singing and acting. I can't wait to see the movie in 2024.
Final Grade: B+