Theatre
Thursday, 24 July 2008 06:00

Wicked’ Strong Girl Power!

Written by 

Wicked ThumbnailAs I was thoroughly enjoying the many wonderful themes in this show I couldn’t help but feel a tiny pang of jealousy for all the little girls who are growing up with this musical as part of their psychological repertoire. I really wanted to be a witch when I was little. I wanted to be a good witch who casts spells to bring baby birds back to life when they fell from their nests. I wanted a magic spell to put the lizard’s tails back on when my brothers pulled them off,

Wicked PhotoWicked at the Oriental Theatre Ford Center for the Performing Arts

 

 

 

 

 

As I was thoroughly enjoying the many wonderful themes in this show I couldn’t help but feel a tiny pang of jealousy for all the little girls who are growing up with this musical as part of their psychological repertoire. I really wanted to be a witch when I was little. I wanted to be a good witch who casts spells to bring baby birds back to life when they fell from their nests. I wanted a magic spell to put the lizard’s tails back on when my brothers pulled them off, and another one to make the boy I had a crush on fall in love with me. But there were no movies or musicals that really dealt with anything magical in the positive way that either Wicked or the Harry Potter series do so beautifully. Wicked really is a great show full of fairly complex feminist and humanist themes that should empower young women to courageously explore and accept all the dimensions of their growing personalities from light to dark.

I absolutely adored this wonderfully cast production of Wicked in Chicago. Rondi Reed, whom I instantly recognized from her Steppenwolf days, was a delight to see in the part of Madame Morrible. Rondi’s earthy, dry sense of humor was perfect to really anchor the young cast and give the whole show a gritty, Mae West presence - a center point around which to fly their broomsticks or magic bubbles, as it were.

Annaleigh Ashford as Glinda, the Good Witch, was really terrific as well. She looked a little like a Cameron Diaz’s Fairy Princess, and had a great sense of physical comic timing and a very strong vocal performance.

I felt especially lucky to see Jennifer DiNoia in the starring role of Elphaba, as she is the standby for this role. Jennifer did a fantastic job portraying the spunky, misunderstood witch with too much power for her own good. Her voice and expressiveness were outstanding. Also, I must say, it was refreshing to see an actual brunette playing a role that was written specifically for and about a brunette. The whole show is about the perceptions people have about one girl being dark haired, green skinned and pensive with a wry sense of humor, as opposed to the bubbly, bright, perky blonde Glinda.

The entire cast shone in this lovely production that your whole family will enjoy. Truly, whether you are young, old, male or female there is enough complexity, humor, music and fireworks in this show to keep you coming back to enjoy Wicked time and time again. My witch’s cap is off to this fine witches brew!

*Please note that Wicked will be ending its run in Chicago in January of 2009 after many successful years of thrilling audiences.
Last modified on Friday, 28 August 2009 00:56

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

 
Check out the Ravinia schedule for Chicago Summer fun!

Register

Latest Articles

  • Marriott Theatre's "October Sky" Flies High
    Written by
    Boys love their rockets. We find this out rather quickly in Marriott Theatre’s world premiere of October Sky, a new musical based on the 1999 film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper. Written by Aaron Thielen with the music and…
  • Review: The Price at Timeline Theatre
    Written by
    Dorothy Parker once said, "If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." Arthur Miller's 'The Price' centers itself around a middle aged couple getting on toward their golden years,…
  • Sweet Home Chicago
    Written by
    Chances are everybody knows a Chicago song whether they are aware of it or not. It’s nearly impossible to not had at least one of their melodies buzzing through your head at one time or another. When seeing them perform…
  • "Assassination Theater: Chicago's Role in the Crime of the Century" Hard-Hitting as it is Revealing
    Written by
    In the highly engaging, thought-provoking world premiere, “Assassination Theatre: Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century” by investigative reporter and author Hillel Levin, the audience is thrust into a very well-presented exploration into the murder of President John F.…

Guests Online

We have 47 guests and no members online

Buzz Chicago on Facebook Buzz Chicago on Twitter