“Wicked” Casts Its Spell On Orlando Once More

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(Photo: Joan Marcus)

(Photo: Joan Marcus)

caricature Brad Haynes
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Since its debut on the Broadway stage in 2003, Wicked has gone on to become one of the biggest musical hits of all time. This week marks the return of Wicked to Orlando, to the delight of theatregoers young and old.

The tale of the “life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West” was first set forth in a novel by Gregory Maguire in 1995, but it was the musicalization by Broadway veteran Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin) that brought the tale of Elpheba and Glinda to even greater heights.

Wicked opens with the announcement of the death of Elpheba (Christine Dwyer), the Wicked Witch of the West by Glinda (Jeanna de Waal), the “good” witch. During the next two and a half hours, the origins of both characters are revealed, as well as introductions to many new characters who oftentimes morph into familiar characters from the L. Frank Baum story.

De Waal brings a bubbly effervescence to the role of Glinda, delivering the goods with the comedic aspects of the character. As Elpheba, Dwyer brings it full force, with a strong presence and vocals to match. Caught in between them both is love interest Fiyero, played winningly by Billy Harrigan Tighe. Tighe is a nimble dancer  with an engaging presence reminiscent of a Disney animated prince come to life.

Gina Ferrall brings a larger than life presence to Madame Morrible and Paul Kreppel makes the most of The Wizard’s vaudevillian traits.

Book writer Winnie Holzman, best known for the TV series My So Called Life, knows that there wouldn’t be a Wicked if it weren’t for the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, and peppers the script liberally with knowing allusions to the film. Keep an ear out for a great tribute to the classic “lions and tigers and bears, oh my.” It’s guaranteed to make you smile.

In fact, the whole production will put a huge smile on your face and give you a keen appreciation for the quality of shows that the FAIRWINDS Broadway Across America – Orlando series brings to town on a consistent basis.

Looking for discount tickets to see Wicked? Click here for information on the $25 lottery being held prior to each show.

Seats are still available and can be purchased at the FAIRWINDS Broadway Across America – Orlando Box Office, Amway Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Online purchases can be made at www.OrlandoBroadway.com. To charge-by-phone call 1-800-982-2787.

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