By Jody Miller
The Broadway sensation WICKED looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, who is smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”
Wicked, the Broadway blockbuster musical, has landed in Sydney, amazing audiences at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with its enchanting tale of friendship, magic, and the reimagined backstory of the iconic witches from the Land of Oz.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary on Broadway, this production proves that some stories never lose their charm, and Wicked continues to cast its spell over the world. And may we acknowledge, there’s nothing more magnificent than witnessing two women as the principal stars on stage, narrating a tale about how, regardless of our circumstances and origins, we can unite, support one another, stand by each other, and “dance through life”.
From the moment you walk into the theatre, the audience is transported into the captivating world of Oz. The stage is adorned with magnificent sets reaching out beyond the bounds of the stage, and lush costumes, leaving no doubt that this is the full Broadway experience. Every dollar spent on production is evident in the visual and auditory luxury that Wicked provides.
“Dear Glinda, you are just too good!” – Truer lyrics were never sung! At the heart of this magical journey are the two leading ladies, Courtney Monsma as Glinda, and Sheridan Adams as Elphaba. Monsma stole the show, bringing the bubbly and popular Glinda to life with her vivacious performance, while Adams shines as the misunderstood and emerald-skinned Elphaba, portraying her journey from outcast to the Wicked Witch of the West with remarkable depth and killer vocals.
Robyn Nevin, a theatre icon and multi-award-winning actress, adds her talent to the mix as Madame Morrible, the conniving and manipulative character who plays a crucial role in the story. Todd McKenney, a crowd favourite, takes on the role of the enigmatic Wizard with flair and a little soft shoe.
Liam Head’s portrayal of Fiyero, the seemingly shallow prince with hidden depths, is a standout performance, being perfectly cast in the role. Adam Murphy impresses as Dr. Dillamond, the goat and teacher of life sciences and philosophy. Shewit Belay,brings depth and emotion to the character of Nessarose, Elphaba’s wheelchair-bound sister.
Kurtis Papadinis, making his professional adult debut, shines as Boq, the lovable munchkin.
The ensemble and swings, comprising a talented group of performers, add depth and energy to the production, making every scene and musical number a visual and auditory treat. The choreography was nothing short of phenomenal, in which the ensemble performed with joy and strength, quickly jumping into multiple characters including flying monkeys! The talented group of performers comprising the Wicked Ensemble and Swings includes Christian Ambesi, Conor Bann-Murray, Brittany Carter, Olivia Castagna, Eli Cooper, Matt Cranleigh, Joseph Donovan, Sage Douglas, Bayley John Edmends, Todd Jacobsson, Rohan Khanna, Andrew Kroenert, Elisha Zion Lee, Jordan Malone, Emily Monsma, Matilda Moran, Jackson Reedman, Amelia Sanzo, Edward Smith, Ksenia Teliatnikova, Lucas Van Rhijn, Jessica Vellucci, Mietta White and Jun Woodfield.
Wicked has endured for two decades because it explores the complexity of moral choices and the prices we have to pay for making them. With a book by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, this production boasts powerful storytelling and memorable songs.
Directed by Joe Mantello and featuring musical staging by Wayne Cilento, Wicked delivers exceptional production values that are on par with its engrossing story. The sets, costumes, and effects are truly spectacular and create a visually stunning experience for the audience.
WICKED Australia Co-producer John Frost says, “I’m thrilled we’re able to bring WICKED to Sydney which will coincide with its 20th anniversary on Broadway. This is one of the most lavish musical productions to have ever played in Australia, the full Broadway experience. You can see every dollar spent on the magnificent sets and lush costumes, a feast for the eye and the ear. A proven blockbuster all around the world since it premiered, it has become one of the most loved musicals of all time. People love it for so many different reasons – some come for the engrossing story, some for the astonishing sets and costumes, some for the soaring ballads, some for the deeper messages, and some to see the life-affirming friendship between the two young women who grow up to be Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.”
This production of Wicked has landed in Sydney just in time for its 20th anniversary on Broadway, and it’s a testament to the enduring appeal of this beloved musical. Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or returning for another enchanting experience, Wicked at the Sydney Lyric Theatre is a must see for all lovers of theatre.
Wicked truly lives up to its reputation as one of the most loved musicals of all time.
Wicked The Musical is playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre till the end of the year. Tickets are available at: https://wickedthemusical.com.au/
Experience the unforgettable, award-winning musical WICKED in Sydney this year.