Green Witches and Ham: A “Wicked” Review

When it comes to Wicked, there’s nothing more to say but “I LOVE IT”…most ardently. It’s a little bit weird to write a review on something that everybody already knows is good, so instead my take on this is more of a descriptive essay on why I became a fan girl of the musical. I wasn’t able to see the original production on Broadway or other presentations, but nothing can compare to the joy the show brought me last weekend, which made me listen to the soundtrack over and over again.

The story is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s about a green sorceress named Elphaba, and the events that led to her transformation as the Wicked Witch. Before all the fiasco, Elphaba (Jemma Rix) and Glinda (Suzy Mathers) were actually good friends, despite the fact that the good witch is too perky and air-headed for the clever and tackless green witch. But some unfortunate misunderstandings and a love triangle with a good-hearted but shallow prince named Fiyero (Steve Danielsen), has triggered the “wickedness” within one of them.

It was a massive production. The stage was adorned with metallic decorations and huge wheels can be seen on the sides of the stage. To me it gave a hint of the wizard’s presence, since he’s actually more of an inventor than a person of magic.

There was a dragon on top of the stage and it was enchanting! It was looking directly at the audience, although it can be clearly seen that its movements were triggered by some some guy in the upper left side of stage, pulling all the ropes. Props change was quick, smooth, and seamless as expected. I can say the same thing about the lights, which is a good thing since the cast performed the most in the outer part of the stage, making their faces more visible and the choreography so much easier to make out.

The highlight of the show was Defying Gravity. This is where I felt the grandeur of it all – how something big starts from something small, and how something evil sparks from something good. I can tell that the scene made more than a few people in the audience cry as I can clearly hear some sniffing and see people wiping their eyes.

The contrast in characters was fun and even comedic at some point with Glinda, played by Suzy Mathers, leading the way. Jemma Rix, who plays Elphaba, had the sharp features to be assumed as the wicked witch, as well as the chops to belt out that high note in Defying Gravity. Steve Danielsen plays Fiyero. The guy could belt out a wee bit of a tune (I love Aaron Tveit more), but he’s not quite a dancer. Maybe a few lessons will do, but the ladies did love him as they were cheering for him during curtain call.

My friend with Glinda herself, Suzy Mathers!
History is mentioned a few times in the story. It is often taken for granted, but history sometimes makes the person. What people remember of someone is whatever is written or said about that person, but is it the truth?
This production of Wicked is from Australia and has been running in the CCP main theatre since January 22 and has been extended until March.

Wicked Cast

Jemma Rix as Elphaba
Suzy Mathers as Glinda
Steve Danielsen as Fiyero
Jay Laga’aia as The Wizard
Maggie Kirkpatrick as Madame Morrible
Emily Cascarino as Nessarose
Edward Grey as Boq

Geoffrey Ledesma


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