No One Mourns the Wicked
The first show these bitches on Broadway saw together since we launched this adventure was Wicked, back in mid-December. We’ve seen tons of shows between us in the past (including a prior run of Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Gypsy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Next to Normal, etc.) – so clearly, we’re very qualified for this – but this blog is about what’s happening now. Without further delay, let’s dive into the mystical land of Oz with Stephen Schwartz’s “Wicked.”
Key cast: Lindsey Mendez (2011 Godspell revival on Broadway) as Elphaba, Ali Mauzey as Glinda, Kyle Dean Massey (Next to Normal on Broadway) as Fiyero
Theater: The Gerswhin Theater, 222 West 51st Street
Ticket price range: $62 – $202
Our show rating: A wicked 4 stars – what is this feeling? joy!
Our theater rating: 4 stars (minus one for utter lack of bathrooms – seriously, two stalls for the WHOLE MEZZANINE? – but chock full of delightful memorabilia from plays and musicals past)
On through: September 2014
Synopsis: “WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.”
The nitty gritty – our thoughts on this show:
With epic numbers like “Defying Gravity” and tremendous special effects, it’s hard not to be wowed by Wicked. It’s got a deep plot line as we examine the truth of good and evil – but you could’ve guessed that already. It’s a striking story of two powerful women as they chase their dreams and discover the cost of getting what you always wanted. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. But this show is everything a casual theater-goer could wish for and more. The music gives me chills no matter how many times I hear it, and seeing it on the big stage just drives it all home. All that said, here are some downsides. If you’re familiar with the original Broadway cast recording but have never seen the show live before, be prepared for some shock and perhaps disappointment with Glinda’s performance. She’s a comedy character, so you won’t be getting perfect operetta soprano delivery you’ve come to love from Kristen Chenoweth’s recording. Mauzey is funny and talented, but she is NOT what many fans of the soundtrack will expect of her. Mendez’s Elphaba, though, is stellar and unique – as much as one can be when following in the footsteps of the divine Miss Idina Menzel – we’re not worthy!
There’s also some added plot you probably never caught from the soundtrack alone, and that adds an extra layer of excitement. All in all, Wicked is fast becoming a classic of modern Broadway for a reason – it’s hard to go wrong here. We think it’s accessible for a person not familiar with the show, and even for people that are neutral about musicals in general (hashtag werejudgingyourightnow). The songs are enormous, the special effects are going to knock you on your ass, and the performers do their best to sell characters that – for better or worse – are personified by some of its original cast. A special shout out to the ensemble – I’ve never seen or heard anyone like it. Quotable of the evening: “THAT was a badass schwarzando.”
Best seen with: Your best friend (especially if you’re ladies)
Best food nearby: Totto Ramen, 366 West 52nd Street – this place is packed with locals for a reason, and though the menu is small, the portions are huge and delicious. We especially imagine it’d be great if you were drunk and/or hungover
Best metro stop: 50th Street (1, C, E)
Best parking garage: 401 West 56th Street ($24 for the night via ParkWhiz.com), about a half mile walk from the theater (and by far the most inexpensive within a reasonable walking distance)
That’s all these Wicked bitches on Broadway have to say about this show. Check out our obligatory theater selfie below, and stay tuned for our next review… The Book of Mormon!