The first thing you see when you walk in is that the Centennial Concert Hall stage has been completely transformed – that is, unless I somehow missed a giant mechanical dragon hanging over me at the last ballet? Probably not. Sets, costumes (lots of green), are all fantastically extravagant.
I’d never read the book the show is based on, so the story was all new to me. It’s a sort of prequel/reimagining of the Wizard of Oz, seen from the perspective of Elphaba, aka the Wicked Witch of the West. You learn how she became who she is, the history between her and Glinda, and a different take on the movie’s version of Oz that’s touching, thought-provoking, and sometimes flat-out hilarious (I couldn’t stop giggling at hearing Dorothy referred to as a wretched little shoe-stealing farm girl).
The cast was tremendous through and through – it’s been a while since I went to a musical, and I couldn’t get over just how BIG their voices are. How can you make soaring up that high seem so effortless? Based on a very scientific applause-and-whistling-meter, a lot of people agree with me about the best song in the show. It’s Defying Gravity, and it had every hair on my head standing on end! Both witches did a fabulous job and they’ve got great chemistry together. I actually wasn’t expecting to love Glinda as much as I did, but her comic timing as a goody two-shoes kept me grinning.
If you’re still looking for tickets, you can still get some at Ticketmaster. There’s also a lottery if you’re feeling lucky – show up 2 hours before a show to put your name in, and 90 minutes before it starts they’ll draw names. If you’re picked, you get 2 orchestra-level seats for $25 each (bring cash!)