Chandra Lee Schwartz as Glinda the Good – Photos by Joan Marcus, Courtesy Hollywood Pantages Theatre
Emma Hunton as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West
There’s not much to say about “Wicked” that hasn’t already been said. You’ve heard of it. You know it’s very “Popular!” with audiences young and old and that it’s a multi-award-winning musical that tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, she of the green-skinned hue in 1940’s MGM Classic “The Wizard of Oz;” who tormented poor little Dorothy for her ruby slippers.
“Wicked” tells us all there’s more to the story than that. And the Pantages Theatre of Hollywood is delivering this pulse-pounding and rebel-rousing show with impeccable talent; colorfully wild sets, lighting, and costumes; and power ballads that will knock your socks off.
The show introduces us to Elphaba, she-who-will-one-day-cackle “And your little dog, too!” Elphaba is passionate, misunderstood, and green. But her fate changes when, at school in the Land of Oz, Elphaba meets and develops an instant mutual disdain for Glinda (before she was “the Good”). Glinda (Chandra Lee Schwartz) and Elphaba (regularly Emma Hunton; on opening night excellently performed by Emmy Raver-Lampman) eventually find common ground, and, later, true friendship. But their relationship is tested to the extreme as dark forces in Oz threaten to tear everything apart…and a familiar Wizard is right in the thick of it.
Oz, the Great and Powerful (at least, in front of the curtain)
“Wicked” is playing now–right now–until March 15, 2015. There’s plenty of time to see what all the critics, fans, and this review are raving about. You won’t find a better musical for either the “newbie” or the seasoned theatre-goer.
Nick Adams as Fiyero
The regular performance schedule for “Wicked” is Tuesday through Friday at 9pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm. Holiday performance schedules vary; check the official www.HollywoodPantages.com or call 1-800-982-2787 for more details. The Pantages is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028. Public parking is available on surrounding streets.
Glinda sings “Thank Goodness” to an adoring Oz-ian crowd
Rebel Elphaba embracing her wicked-ness by “Defying Gravity”