Wicked the Musical
Wicked - the untold story of the witches of Oz
Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz... One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How did these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch? Find out at the London Premiere of the award-winning Broadway musical Wicked!
"A wicked and wonderful vision of Oz. A remarkable kaleidoscope of magical shocks, surprises and sensations - Wicked the Musical works like a dream." The London Evening Standard
Wicked the Musical is written by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman and is based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire and is directed by Joe Mantello. Wicked the Musical is recommended for children 8 plus.
"Witty and enjoyable - it cleverly subverts the film that spawned it. And Joe Mantello's production is packed with spectacular coups de theatre" The Daily Telegraph
"Joe Mantello's production works on a number of levels - as blockbuster family entertainment and , thanks to Stephen Schwartz's Sondheimian lyrics, sophisticated comedy and even thought-provoking drama. It's sexy, sassy and sensational... Glinda's beau Fiyero may assert that 'life's more painless for the brainless', but it's still a magnificent thing to see a musical that manages to be both populist and intelligent at the same time." The Sunday Telegraph
"A vast and spectacular stage event" The Daily Express
"The wittiest trick here is that L Frank Baum's fairytale is reappraised as a shocking case of political spin... it is rather thrilling to find a piece of glittery showbiz harbouring a political message akin to The Crucible. However, Stephen Swartz's pop-rock score, and lyrics are bland. The choreography is disappointingly lame too. Still, the costumes are stylishly macabre." The Independent on Sunday
"Joe Mantello's production is spectacular" The Daily Mail
"There is already one, fairly well-known, musical set in the land of Oz, and perhaps the most telling thing about Wicked the Musical is that it gets its biggest laughs simply by quoting its predecessor... Telling a complicated story was obviously the priority. Stephen Schwartz's songs are at their sharpest when they concentrate on doing that, and at their flabbiest when they're supposed to be stopping the show. Luckily, Wicked the Musical picks up such emotional and narrative momentum that even the latter numbers punch above their mawkish, metaphor-larded weight. This show often succeeds only by defying its own musical limitations, but succeed it certainly does." The Sunday Times
"Inventive and suspenseful" The Financial Times
Gregory Maguire, the writer of the novel on which Wicked the Muscal is based: "In Wicked - the novel first, and now the musical - the Wicked Witch of the West has a name: Elphaba. It's pronouced El-phaba - a name derived from the initials of the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Lyman Frank Baum, L.F.B., Elphaba. I set out to tell her story from beginning to end. I wanted not so much to explain the Wicked Witch of the West as to deepen her mystery... When Stephen Schwartz approached me with the notion of turning Wicked into a musical play, I needed much less persuading than I let on. As a college student I had taught myself to play the piano from the scores of Pippin and Godspell. Stephen saw the comic and the meldramatic possibilities in my sprawling slice-of-Oz-history novel, and he promised that however the plot evolved to suit the stage, the grim themes of the novel would inform the show... Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book of the musical, has honoured the intentions of the original and made Wicked her own. Galinda still becomes Glinda, Elphaba becomes the Witch, and they both grow up concerned about each other and their world, in ways that slyly derive from the novel but are enchanted into something else again."
Wicked in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre previewed from 7 September 2006 and opened on 27 September 2006.