Friday, February 12, 2010

'Wicked' offers magical night at theater

“Wicked,” the Broadway phenomenon, has been performing its magic for six years. Many fans have already flocked to the return of this Tony Award-winning show at the David A. Straz, Jr. Performing Arts Center in Tampa. The plot of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman musical is enough to lure any fan of the classic tale of “The Wizard of Oz,” as the show takes audiences back to the unlikely friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, who becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West.

There’s much more to love in “Wicked” than the moving, fun-loving multi-layered story. Theater-goers will be captivated by wonderful set designs, great music and memorable performances.

The show opens with Glinda’s (Chandra Lee Schwartz) announcement that the Wicked Witch is dead. As everyone celebrates, someone questions Glinda’s past relationship with the witch. That’s when time flashes back to the mysterious beginning of Elphaba (Donna Vivino) and her handicapped sister, Nessarose (Brynn O’Malley). When they are older, they are sent off to school. Elphaba immediately feels like an outcast because of her green skin. She’s shunned by nearly everyone, including Glinda — the most popular girl in school.

Through a series of unlikely events, Elphaba and Glinda become good friends.

To read the rest of my review, pick up a copy of Saturday's Bradenton Herald. Look for it on page 2A.

- January Holmes

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