Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website



Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Wicked casts spell over the Emerald City at the Paramount
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Wicked casts spell over the Emerald City at the Paramount

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Wicked
The Paramount Theatre
Through October 4


Last week, the smash hit musical Wicked flew back into the Emerald City and set up residence at the Paramount for a month. With the tagline "So much happened before Dorothy dropped in," the story explains the history of Elphaba, who went down in history as the Wicked Witch of the West. Beginning at Shiz, University of Oz, Wicked tells of the meeting of Elphaba and of Galinda, who becomes Glinda the Good Witch.

Elphaba, due to her green skin, is overlooked by her father, who instead lavishes love on her younger sister, Nessarose, who eventually becomes the Witch of the East. When Nessa, who is in a wheelchair, is sent to the university, Elphaba follows to take care of her. It is there that her classmates shun the defiant and rebellious green-skinned gal, and none more so than the socialite debutante, Galinda. Due to circumstances, the two opposites are set up as roommates, where they take an instant loathing to each other. Despite the odds and their differences, they eventually become best friends, until a meeting with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz divides them on every level.

Donna Vivino plays the susceptible Elphaba so well that the audience completely sides with the Oz outcast. Her voice is as strong as her stage presence, and both are delivered with wonderful success. Ms. Vivino shows a full range of Elphaba's emotions; we see her shyness, her reasons for her defiance, and the vulnerability that allows a captivated audience to sympathize, empathize and feel compassion for her character. Our hearts break as we share her experiences of being "not that girl" when it comes to the first pangs of love. We cheer as she takes flight, literally, from the political tyranny of Oz officials, and it is safe to say we secretly hope she wins in getting the slippers away from the crying Kansas farm girl.

Chandra Lee Schwartz plays Galinda, and is the newest member of this Wicked cast. Though she has only been in the show for two weeks, she takes to her role as if playing it for a lifetime. Her socialite awkwardness fails to stop her as Galinda climbs the ladder within the Oz regime. Her presence is complete without stealing any focus, and the two leads compliment one another's performances without trying to overpower each other. Ms. Schwartz's light-hearted Galinda shows the perfect balance for Ms. Vivino's rebellious Elphaba.

The story is about friendship, and the lead actresses create a synergy between them that shows the full range of a real relationship. The bonds that start off as intense loathing transform into something much stronger due to their choices and the causes that each character feels they need to support. From the simple things of mocking each other behind their backs or making mimicking gestures and facial impersonations, each actress brings their characters to life, and their dislike for one another is believable. We, the audience, witness the careful foundations as they start to lower their defenses and begin to open up to each other. Ms. Vivino and Schwartz both do a fantastic job of showing us the path their characters travel and just how personal choices can affect friendships.

Richard H. Blake is Fiyero, the handsome prince that is the love interest centered between Elphaba and Galinda. His character starts off shallow and not caring, but eventually gets involved with Elphaba and her causes. Richard's voice is clear when heard, but gets drowned out easily in cast numbers. The love duet "Now That You're Mine" sizzles, and both voices sensually mesh to make a beautiful scene and haunting song.

Myra Lucretia Taylor as Madame Morrible, Shiz University's head mistress, and Lenny Wolpe as the Wizard both add good presence to the show's storyline, leading a great cast of supporting players. Myra's strength is subtle and we see the streak of iniquity that runs through her character, as Madame Morrible is first impressed by, and then strikes out against, Elphaba's magical abilities. Lenny Wolpe interprets the Wizard as human, complete with faults. While he never terrifies us as "Oz, the powerful," his human weaknesses are shown, and despite him being a corrupt ruler, we almost feel sorry for the "great and terrible" Oz. Due to schedule conflicts, both roles of Madame Morrible and the Wizard will be recast halfway through the Seattle run.

The two biggest stars of the show are Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz, the musical's author and composer/lyricist. Ms. Holzman took the extremely popular book by Gregory Maguire and formatted it for the stage. After going through many changes, she has created a world for Elphaba to become not only an observer, but has given her a place at center to take control of the character's own actions. Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell) has created one of his most brilliant scores to date. The music is not typical theater, but presents a range of melodies from the abrupt opening number to haunting ballads and comical interludes. There's a song for everyone, and most people will leave the show keeping at least one in mind. Such is the popular spell cast by the witches of Wicked.

Wicked received its out-of-town tryouts in San Francisco in 2003. After some script tightening and a few cast changes, the musical opened on Broadway on October 30 the same year. This year celebrates its sixth anniversary, and more than 2,400 performances later, it still plays to full theaters. The show was nominated for 10 Drama Desk Awards (winning seven) and four Tony Awards (winning one). The Grammy Award-winning CD is available through Decca Records.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Melvin Van Peebles, the 'illegitimate uncle of blaxploitation'
------------------------------
Wicked casts spell over the Emerald City at the Paramount
------------------------------
Village Theatre premieres Chasing Nicolette
------------------------------
Elephant's Graveyard shows the darkness of the soul
------------------------------
August brought great jazz to Seattle
------------------------------
Monterey Jazz Festival features elder statesmen of jazz
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Taking Woodstock given realistic Queer star
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
COMING IN SEPTEMBER: Pink, Pet Shop Boys, and Seattle's own Pearl Jam
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------
Intiman stumbles with Magical Thinking - Ruby Bishop update
------------------------------
Bumbershoot's top five performances
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------
Town hall rudeness and good times with my slave
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------

------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News