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‘Wicked’ cast, music leaves audience spellbound

Submitted by Melissa Ibbotson on November 12, 2010 – 1:24 pmNo Comment

A Broadway musical is something one tends not to forget, and “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz” is no exception.

Based on Gregory MaGuire’s book of the same title, “Wicked” is set before Dorothy comes to Oz.  It focuses on the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

Played by understudy Christine Dwyer, the character of Elphaba puts a new spin on being the “different” one, and Galinda (who later changes her name to Glinda), played by Natalie Daradich, is the epitome of blonde and bubbly.

The show begins with Glinda as the Good Witch speaking to the citizens of Oz about the death of Elphaba, and then flashes back to when the main characters attended Shiz University together.

Elphaba and Galinda start out as the unlikeliest of roommates, and share their feelings of “pure loathing” during the song “What is This Feeling?” They end up being best friends, whose paths continue to cross throughout their lives.

Though the story, acting and music are big parts of the play, Dwyer and Daradich’s singing alone could carry it.

Singing songs such as “The Wizard and I,” “I’m Not That Girl,” and “One Short Day,” Dwyer and Daradich’s voices amplify their characters.

Dwyer’s sultry, full-bodied vocals during “Defying Gravity,” “No Good Deed” and “For Good” show off the depth of her story and passion of her character.

In contrast, the bubbly staccato of Daradich’s songs emphasize her self-absorbed nature. Daradich adds to her better than thou attitude with heel kicks, hair flips and giggly speech during her performance, and her high-pitched voice brings a richness to her character that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

Galinda develops a slightly deeper side as the story progresses, and her friendship with Elphaba forms. Singing “Popular,” Galinda shows off her ability to help others (in her own way), and she is clearly hurt by the death of Elphaba.

“Wicked” is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Oz, and the show is running through Nov. 14. Tickets range from $40 to $455, and can be purchased at www.bigstub.com.

This story will prove that the Wicked Witch of the West may not be so wicked after all.

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