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Review: Journey to Emerald City with 'Wicked' Musical

By Freddy  /  03 Oct 2016 (Monday)

Wicked should not be a foreign name to musical theatre fans, especially since it has come to Singapore in 2012. It has now returned to our shores once more straight from West End, UK. Those who are considering to watch it in Singapore can be certain that they will be watching a world-class standard performance.

Date: Now till 20 Nov 2016
  • Tue - Fri: 8pm 
  • Sat: 2pm & 8pm 
  • Sun: 1pm & 6pm 
Venue: MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing: $55 - $230

(Purchase your tickets at Sistic, here!)

Photo Credit: Wicked UK

The grand and elaborate sets are a visual treat with its iconic clockwork theme. The set pieces have a lot of moving gears and structures, a giant talking mask, and a giant mechanical dragon right above the stage. They also move from scene to scene very smoothly, with few blackouts in between. Expect to see your fair share of stage magic with levitations and transformations throughout the show.

The costumes are beautiful as well, with the scene at Emerald City looking like a green avant-garde fashion show. The costumes of the main characters evolve as the story progresses, portraying their maturity. Some characters wear animal masks which look convincing while still allowing them to express their emotions. The ensemble is not forgotten, too. Their costumes give each of them a unique identity. The show has many quick costume changes that truly impress.

​Photo Credit: Matt Crockett

The music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz are catchy and smart. Some standout numbers are the breathtaking “Defying Gravity”, the cheerful “Popular”, “For Good”, and “No Good Deed”. There is not a lot of dance numbers in Wicked, only “Dancing Through Life” and “What Is This Feeling?”. Fans of Wicked would know what to expect.

For those unfamiliar to the plot, it gives a backstory to the Wicked Witch of the West from the classic story of The Wizard of Oz. The show also gives origin stories to the main characters of the classic, such as Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow. Most of the second act follows The Wizard of Oz, but from the perspective of the witch and other characters. Reading up on the story of The Wizard of Oz would truly enhance your appreciation of the show.

​Photo Credit: Matt Crockett

(Watch our interview with resident director, Leigh Constatine!)

The heart of the show is the friendship between two witches, Elphaba (Jacqueline Hughes) and Glinda (Carly Anderson). Hughes has been playing Elphaba for years and her experience shows. It is a challenging role, emotionally and vocally, but she nailed it. She looks evidently comfortable in the role and her performances truly deserve standing ovations. Anderson is delightfully energetic and talented as Glinda. Her character arguably undergoes the most character development in the show and she masterfully expresses the nuances of Glinda’s growth. The spellbinding pair also possess great chemistry on the stage.

You can find out how they interact off the stage in our interview with them.

Other actors in the show also deliver, such as Bradley Jaden as Fiyero, Kim Ismay as Madame Morrible, Steven Pinder as both the Wizard of Oz and Doctor Dillamond, Emily Shaw as Nessarose, and Iddon Jones as Boq. All of them are world-class standard but they almost pale in comparison to how great Hughes and Anderson are. The ensemble was equally impressive, especially in “No One Mourns The Wicked” and “One Short Day”.

Photo Credit: Matt Crockett

Overall, this would be a magical experience for any Wicked fan. The show is not without its weaknesses, but listing them would feel like nitpicking on this impeccable production. Allow its beautiful story, memorable music and lyrics, and the talented cast to defy your expectations.
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