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Destination Diaries

WICKED:  The Review

Louisville, Kentucky

By Angela Ash


When Gregory Maguire set out to breathe new life into an already beloved tale, I wonder if he could have possibly had an inkling of an idea that WICKED would one day take the world of Broadway by storm... specifically one involving tornadic activity.

Captivating audiences of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, WICKED evokes every emotion imaginable, culminating in truly one of the most passionate theater experiences of this decade.  Composed by Stephen Scwartz and adapted to screenplay by Winnie Holzman, this show is brilliant creativity at its best! 

WICKED brings a fantastically talented cast to the stage, with Alyssa Fox, Carrie St. Louis, Jake Boyd, Liana Hunt, Chad Jennings, Lee Slobotkin, Wendy Worthington, Stuart Zagnit and more.

Alyssa Fox and Carrie St. Louis step (or otherwise "fly" or "float") into the roles of Elphaba and Glinda, the witches of Oz.  The chemistry between these two is remarkable, as they fight, tease, and ultimately befriend their way straight to the Emerald City.

Wendy Worthington adds a whimsical, dramatic flair to the role of Madame Morrible, as Stuart Zagnit effortlessly enthralls the audience as he completely embodies the character of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


If it is indeed possible that there may still be a few WICKED "newbies" out there in the universe, this beguiling tale is the back story of how the two witches met, and how eventually one was labeled "good", and the other quite "wicked".  This indeed adds an extraordinary new perspective to the beloved story by Frank L. Baum, of Dorothy and the falling house.  WICKED just feels REAL.  It fills in the gaps where our imaginations might wonder, leaving us with a colorful and thoughtful explanation to what really might have gone down in the merry old land of Oz.

And this is truly where WICKED excels beyond anything that can be imagined.  With carefully placed bits of comedy and hushed innuendos, the entire crowd unites as they finally "get the joke".  It is nothing beyond exhilarating to hear the "oooohs" and the "ahhhhhs" of understanding when the origins of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are brought to light.

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Yet, everything seems to build up to that defining moment. During the initial dialogue leading up to song, one can literally feel the entire crowd scoot to the edges of their seats, waiting... ever so patiently, for the opening notes of "Defying Gravity".  This is where Fox's performance becomes truly majestic, earning a round of applause that seems to take on a life of its own.  This is, without a doubt, more magical than anything in Elphaba's grimoire.

Filled to the brim with every bell and whistle known to the stage, and some picked up along the way in Munchkinland, this is an experience that you MUST have.  Showing through December 6th at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, make your plans to witness the magic broom ride through Oz. 

And like a drink of emerald elixir, the excitement seems to have no end. Would you like to see WICKED from the orchestra section, for just $25? No, this will not involve a magic wand! Just arrive 2 1/2 hours before each performance (with your photo identification) at the box office to have your name placed in a lottery, where drawings will be held for a limited number of these specially priced seats. Really... how cool is that?

You may also visit Broadway Across America for other upcoming events in Louisville, or in other cities across the nation. 

Photography By Joan Marcus