Related Wicked Thread, click here
Wicked the Musical: A review
On Friday the 24th of August 2007, I went to see Wicked the Musical at the Apollo theatre in Victoria London with my family. Wicked is the story behind the witches of Oz whom Dorothy encounters in the book (or film) the Wizard of Oz. It's based on the friendship between Glinda (the good witch) and Elphaba (who becomes the wicked witch of the west). The musical is based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire and lasts for three hours.
This musical has had very good reviews but I went into it being unsure of what to expect, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The story drew me in from the very beginning and was compelling to watch. You were really made to care about the characters and what happened to them. The songs were instantly catchy and the actors and actresses involved were all amazing. In the performance that I saw the part of Elphaba was played by an actress called Kerry Ellis, who without a doubt has one of the most powerful voices that I have heard - which is saying something, as I have been to see a number of the big musicals.
While the story and the singing was amazing, another thing which was truly awe inspiring was the staging. The stage has a huge moving mechanical dragon above it, which occasionally lets out a roar, but other than that the stage was fairly minimal, which just made what they managed to do with it more impressive. Good use was made of the height of the stage, with several characters flying at different points throughout the production (as is to be expected in a play about witches). Even though we were sitting quite close to the back, we were still able to see everything that was going on.
I would rank this musical as being among the best that I have seen, and would definitely recommend it. There wasn’t a dull moment in the whole three hours, and the production definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. The only word of warning that I would give is that some of the scenes, especially those involving the wizard, could be slightly scary for young children, so this is something to consider. However other than this, I have no other negative comments about this musical, and would give it 9/10, I can see this soon becoming a classic.
Reviewed by randdom.
Had seat Stalls A – 23 … pretty much slap bang in the middle!!!
Opening number = Ensemble definitely on top form compared to last time I saw them. Dancing was fluent and an overall good performance. Dianne hit all the top notes and looked fearless in the bubble. Looks of facial expression brilliant! The bubble entrance and exit went smoothly – I noticed how she is clipped In by the safety wire and someone has to clip and unclip it every time Galinda enters.
Dear Old Shiz = Absolutely loved the singing diamond formation with Elphaba at the front – and the Shizzzzzzzzzzz at the end – made me giggle.
Wizard and I = Kerry absolutely OWNED the stage – what a performance – end of! Harriett Thorpe as Morrible – what is with the costume?? Haha oh well she was good What is this feeling = Today both girls on top form – good eye contact and the ending where Elphie shouts BOO and the others jump and scream – ensemble very effective at this point. Gone unnoticed before.
Dancing Through Life – Glad we had Caroline back as Nessa (she was replaced by Kady for the last few weeks) … Boq (or Bick) was awesome .. he really kows how to own a helpless character. Oli obviously brilliant – he performs with such ease!! Loved the dance sequences and use of lighting. The Elphie/Galinda scene with the dancing was so cute and Kerry’s facial expression at the end of the song when she ‘fits in’ is magic.
The acting before ‘I’m not that girl’ was good – the motorized lion cub was fun and the bridge that comes down is a great addition to the set. And the Fiyero and Elphie moment was performed right in front of me – amazing!! I really felt that scene. I’m not that girl = Kerry on top form and OWNING the stage. The whisper of “Don’t wish” echoed and made the song even sadder. – Some microphone trouble but oh well.
The Wizomania Clowns scared the hell out of me haha. The Wizard kept spitting over the stage and the smoke in Defying Gravity made me cough. But otherwise well rounded performances from everyone In 1st act.
Second act in a nutshell: Kerry was laughing all the way through ‘Wonderful’ and attempting to hid it. The Wizard kept spitting across the stage. ‘As long as your mine’ was sung with immense feeling. Loved the lighting and smoke in ‘No Good Deed’ and Kerry was staring straight at me – was pretty scary actually. For Good made me go numb and the reprise and me shed a few tears. I called my best friend through ‘For Good’ so she could listen because its our song..
Overall I think Dianne was definitely on top from – a striking performance throughout. She has grown into the role and I think has completely mastered it!
I think people must be blind to think that Kerry can’t act!! Apart from the odd giggles – which were quite funny - there was nothing wrong with her acting performance. She was vocally top notch and good fluid movement around the stage.
Posted by Nora-FNE
I'm back! Wicked was amazing! Dianne stole the show for me. I was actually a bit disappointed by Kerry- her voice was good, well better than good but she seemed like she was on auto pilot.
Had Kady-Jo as Nessarose!
I'll do it song by song, otherwise this review will turn into a rant
No one Mourns the Wicked- Standard Dianne NOMTW. No optional note but still amazing. I love this song so I'm biased!
DOS- Dianne's face when she was asked if Elphaba was her friend was classic. I love the way they all hold their Z at the end of Shiz. There was hardly any entrance applause for Kerry, it was just me and a few other people on the other side of the front row.
TWAI- Was good- the 'me' just seemed so emotionless but the 'team' and 'I' made up for it. My sister was converted by TWAI and she said Kerry's voice was amazing.
WITF- Hilarious. Loads of laughter when Kerry said 'blonde' like she was going to be sick. They were both trying not to laugh because of Kerry's dancing!
DTL- I actually think Dianne and Oliver have more chemistry than Oliver and Kerry. I loved the number of times Dianne flicked her hair. Oliver was great and I adored Boq's 'You're touching me!'. The bit where Galinda starts dancing with Elphaba almost made me cry. It's a mix of the music and the moment. Kady Jo has a really young voice and it emphasised the fact that Nessa is Elphaba's younger sister. I thought she was adorable.
Popular- The best I've seen. Dianne was brilliant- she made everyone laugh with her 'BALLGOWN' and she did a new thing where she kind of cleared her throat like she was spitting to clean the wand which was funny. Her 'Oh hello!' into the mirror had people clapping for ages!
I'm not that Girl- Hate to say it but a bit... boring. Kerry sang it well but I just didn't care.
Emerald City station scene- Loved the look between Elphaba and Fiyero when Galinda decided she was going to change her name. I love the whole scene actually!
One Short Day- Green. That's all I can really say lol. The giggle that Dianne and Kerry do after 'two best friends' wasn't there, they just held hands instead. I liked that giggle!
Sentimental Man- I'll just write what I was thinking at the time.
Yeah, shut up Wizard. I don't care if you want to be a bloody father! I'm waiting for Defying Gravity.
Defying Gravity- Intense. I swear Kerry was looking right at me during 'to those who ground me' She did her 'LOOK' growl! She held the 'ahhhh' at the end for ageees! Trouble is I was kind of dying for the toliet so I didn't get the chance to let the awesomeness of DG sink in.
Thank Goodness-I was shocked no-one laughed when Fiyero said 'I'll marry you if it will make you happy' because people usually laugh at that. I was almost in tears when she sang 'who wouldn't be happier?' because it was so emotional and Dianne looked like she was about to cry. Great TG, I was hoping she'd do the optional note but she didn't.
Wicked Witch of the East- Kady Jo is really good at the angry bitter side of Nessarose! I got a bit scared lol
Wonderful- After intially finding it boring, I have to say Wonderful's grown on me! I couldn't resist doing the jazz hands while I was watching. I think the scene where Elphaba is reunited with Dr. Dillamond is one of the most powerful in the whole production. And Fiyero's 'It was... but it wasn't' almost stopped the show because of the laughter. I love and hate the scene where Fiyero runs off with Elphaba because it's sweet but then poor Glinda's left on her own!
I'm Not That Girl (Reprise) - Dianne really needs to stop trying to make me cry. It breaks my heart everytime!
As Long as You're Mine- Smoke overload! I had to peer through the smoke to see Oliver and Kerry. Kerry did a nice little riff on 'with you wanting me' and Ollie... well he was Ollie! I honestly don't understand the hype about their chemistry, Ollie and Alexia and Ollie and Dianne both have more than Ollie and Kerry imo. I just didn't see it. The singing was great though.
The Catfight scene-I love this scene! Kerry's cackle was a bit weird. Loved Dianne's wand twirl. When Ollie swung in everyone started wolf whistling and cheering. The slaps looked so fake that I had to laugh at the effort Kerry and Dianne were putting in not to hurt each other.
No Good Deed- Didn't get any chills It was good technically but again, it felt like there wasn't enough emotion in it, though I don't think it was helped by the fact I didn't feel like Fiyero and Elphaba were in love in the first place.
March of the Witch hunters- Makes me because it's too close to the ending. I suppose it will grow on me. I love how it darkens the plot!
For Good- Beautiful
Finale-Dianne has amazing comic timing! She did a really good impersonation of Madame Morrible! I loved how everyone in the audience was shocked at Fiyero being the Scarecrow and Elphaba being alive. Kerry managed to sing later than Dianne did for the 'because I knew you' bit but it actually sounded better in couterpoint! Most of the people in the front row apart from my sister gave Dianne and Kerry a standing ovation.
I'm a bit confused by everyone I spoke to while dayticketting! They'd all seen Wicked like 20-30 times! I don't understand how you can see something so many times, where do you find the time or the money? I got talking to this really nice lady, who decided to take me under her wing lol, and she says she's seen Wicked about 30 times and her kids have seen it loads of times. The cast know them by name and the kids know everything about Wicked and even know Kerry's birthday. I was :o I wouldn't have gone to the stage door if it wasn't for them! I'm glad I did though, I got my Wicked ticket signed by Desmond Baritt and Jeremy Legat and I got a picture with Dianne. I couldn't be bothered to wait for anyone else so I went home.
I just spoke to my sister and she said she liked Wicked! *shock horror* She has Dancing Through Life in her head apparently! Success!
Review Posted bu diamonddust
Prepare for a long read for this one :P
- Wicked - 28th February, 2009 - 7:30pm
- Elphaba - Kerry Ellis
- Glinda - Dianne Pilkington
- Fiyero - Oliver Tompsett
- Wizard - Andy Mace
- Madame Morrible - Harriet Thorpe
- Nessarose - Caroline Keiff
- Boq - Jeremy Legat
- Dr. Dillamond - David Stoller
So I got to the theatre and was delighted to see that Kerry would be on, as I had been gutted when I missed her the last time. Slightly disappointed not to be seeing Des, but I'd heard wonderful things about Andy (and Stoller, for that matter) so I didn't mind too much.
I'd forgotten how small the theatre feels when you're inside, ie the seats at the back aren't too far away at all. Either way, I was sitting in F11 which was nice and close and not too far off to the side. Got myself a programme - now seven pounds?! And I notice that Wicked is now labelled as a "Hit Musical" as opposed to a "new" one. Anyway, got comfy and waited as the house completely filled. It was a nice mixed audience, not predominantly any one demographic - the only dodgy group was a row of middle-aged women who had clearly been drinking and found everything pant-wettingly funny; they quietened down quite quickly, but still pretty annoying.
No One Mourns the Wicked - I'm not going to get all cheesy and say I got chills at knowing what was coming, but when the overture started, my pulse did get a little bit quicker. Still loving the green hologram and the ensemble was sounding great. Did a bit of spotting but was only able to identify Oli, Kady-Jo, Alex, Nadine and George.
Dianne came down to no applause; hey, she looks stunning in that dress, seriously beautiful. She has a beautiful voice, nice high notes (but I'm not sure if she sang the last one), though I did feel that she was rushing through her lines slightly with no pauses between them. I don't know if this normally happens, but while she was talking to the Ozians (I think it was the 'Is it true...' bit), just behind the bubble, while everyone else was standing still, Oli and Nadine were doing a slow waltz with each other. Bizarre. Kady-Jo was good as the Witch's Mother and Stoller was ponytailed-up as Frex. I love at the end how Dianne slightly mimics the movements of the projection behind her, it's a very nice touch.
Dear Old Shiz - A smattering of entrance applause for Kerry (mostly from the very enthusiastic front row). I love how she sings along with the students, though I do wish she wasn't so angry here, as it doesn't really match up with how she behaves later on. I did enjoy that Jeremy was quite clearly enamored with Galinda before he had his line with her (to be quite honest, I wasn't expecting to care for Jeremy, but he surprised me. A lot.) He was also very giggly, along with most of the ensemble. Caroline was wheeled on and boy, she is pretty. She has a slight sob in her voice I'm not dying about, but her acting was really great. After the wheelchair did its thing, Kerry played guilty/confused very well; I was extremely impressed with her "Something just comes over me sometimes..." section - she seemed genuinely confused and upset to have annoyed Nessa. Harriet is a hilarious Morrible and her noises are funny/terrifying. I like that she actually has quite a strong singing voice. Dianne was obviously very funny but still rushing a little.
The Wizard and I - Firstly, I have to say that I think Kerry excels in numbers where she's not really interacting too much with anyone else; she gets properly into it. She played excited and awestruck very well in this song. What struck me most is that recordings (meaning Wicked in Rock, Loose Women etc... right) do not do her voice justice. In person, the sheer power is mind-boggling. Even during the opening verses, you can tell that she has a strong voice, but when it gets to the ending, she just blew me away. I love that she goes up on "And I'll stand there, with the WizaRD". No riffing but immense power. Excellent last note. She looks brilliantly excited at the end, I don't know if that's good acting or pleasure at the wave of applause and cheering. <b /> What is this Feeling? - I always think it must be a real killer for the actress playing Elphaba to have to finish what should really be an 11 o'clock number and move right into the next without a break. Kerry was slightly breathless at the beginning but recovered quickly. Dianne fired out "unusuallyandexceedinglypeculiarandaltogetherquite impossibletodescriBe" so quickly that if I didn't know the show so well I would have had no idea what she had said. Kerry took a pleasant pause before "blonde". This is a really fun song, and tonight you could really tell that the ensemble were loving being on that stage which really makes a performance for me. I kept watching George, who seemed to be having a whale of a time. American Elphaba emerged during this song (and she would continue to rear her ugly head throughout the show). Kerry's accent fluctuated quite a bit, but there was enough English for me not to mind to much. Tight harmonies with Dianne and great mimicry. An amusing thing Kerry did was to sort of pinch the air/pretend to throw things at Dianne in time to the percussion which resulted in giggling towards the end.
Classroom Scene / Something Bad - Kerry and Dianne kept making eye contact with each other at the beginning of this scene and scowling (then suppressing smiles). Stoller makes a great Dillamond - he actually seemed passionate about teaching, which was nice. I would have liked to see a little more from Caroline when Boq hands her the paper. "Galinda with a gah" was very good; it was almost like she couldn't understand what had just happened and was trying to suss out for herself exactly what had gone wrong. When Dillamond flipped the blackboard, we got a bit of a "Sweet Oz!" from the ensemble, and they all looked at Elphaba. I'm not really sure why, but Dianne, Nadine and I've forgotten the name of the girl playing Pfannee, they all looked guilty and awkward. When Kerry was chatting after the others had gone, it came across as the slightly nerdy girl opening up and actually being quite sweet and normal with the teacher, which is why I didn't really get her anger at the beginning. Maybe it's supposed to be a defence mechanism, I'm not sure. Stoller took far too big a bite of paper and had to take it back out of his mouth before he'd swallowed it (to Kerry's amusement). She didn't look too keen on handling chewed-up rice paper and when she put in back in her bag, she sort of thumped down on it to sort of say 'well that's gone!'. As with Harriet, I like that even those who don't have particularly singing-heavy roles have very strong voices. One thing though - I thought Stoller's "baaaa"s sounded more like belly laughs than bleating.
Fiyero's Entrance / Dancing Through Life - The cart was nowhere near Kerry when it 'hit' her, but her book went miles anyway. I don't know what accent Avaric had, but it was nicely mimicked. Jeremy grew on my even more in this scene - he was very cute when talking to Galinda and I liked his interactions with Fiyero. Oli seemed quite into it here - he didn't seem bored or tired, which was good. He has such a fluid voice; no riffing, but just perfect execution. And I know it's been said many times, many ways - but those trousers leave very little to the imagination. Not complaining, just commenting. When Dianne came on in her pink dress, if you knew the show it was obvious that she was speeding through it, eg she sort of went "Domeup (just once) andnowImustaccessorisemyself (tiny pause) for Fiyero". Kudos for Nadine for taking her time with the hat and slowing things down. In the Ozdust ballroom, something happened between Oli and Dianne, and I can't for the life of me remember when. I think it was either when he kissed her at the beginning or just before she goes off to dance with Elphaba. Anyway, I think Dianne brushed her microphone or something, and Oli found it hilarious. Dianne controlled herself, but he was just busting to laugh. He kept exchanging looks with Jeremy, who didn't need much help in going off. While I agree that they should try to stay in character, it's nice to see that they're having a good time up there. I tried to make out what the ensemble said to Elphaba as she came down in the hat, but I couldn't pick out anything specific (such as "Kristy Cates, you green skank", as has been heard before). Kerry's looked completely aghast at Gainda but resolute when she started dancing. Her dance was awkward and comic. When Dianne joined in, she didn't take her time to make it funny or sad, she blended all the moves into one big sweep and the orchestra had trouble keeping up she was going so fast. I love at the end when Elphaba and Glinda turn to face the other dancers holding hands, it's a nice moment. Good ensemble work again here.
Popular - Kerry's secret sharing was delivered very well - the perfect mixture of sadness and self-pity. Anyone who says she just phones it in now is completely wrong. Dianne did seem to slow down a little to enjoy this song, and her gorgeous belt came out. A very funny performance generally, but a couple of little things: when she did the second toss-toss, she kind of did a steadying deep breath before it, which Kerry mimicked. Then when Kerry mimicked the breath, Dianne did it again, meaning Kerry had to do it again - she didn't get a breath in for quite some time and was close to cracking up. Also, after the first 'ballgown', Dianne kind of blew on and rubbed the tip of the wand, making a static sound like it was out of tune, which was very funny. Kerry's "I have to go" was very sad - she took her time looking into the mirror and seemed genuinely confused and unsure if she was allowed to be beautiful. It slightly bothers me that it's not a proper mirror, but I suppose it's understandable. Dianne held the ending note out for quite a while and when the bed was being taken off, she lay back in it like she was going to sleep, smiling and waving.
Dillamond sacked / Lion Cub Scene - Kerry's tossing here was great, as was Oli's imitation. They have a nice chemistry. He also kept whispering to her the entire time they were on the bench. Hmm. Anyway, Stoller was very good here, as was Harriet - menacing without being overt about it. Kerry sounded very passionate, which was good. I'd never noticed the projections after she casts her spell before, they work quite well.
Kerry and Oli's chemistry really showed when they were dealing with the cub, though I think they might have taken a bit more time over it. The American accent was quite noticeable in the dialogue here, but it didn't detract. They both sounded very natural (their acting, not the accent) and the moment when Elphaba grabs his hand was very nicely done.
I'm Not That Girl - I'm not normally mad on this song, but I very much enjoyed it. Kerry played it in a very interesting way - for the first couple of verses, she wasn't sad, more rueful and resigned; lots of smiles and a bit of eye-rolling. However, when it got to the final verse and she whispered "Don't wish, don't start", you could see the tears. Very well paced, I thought. Lovely low note at the end.
The Wizard and I [Reprise] - I missed most of this because I dropped... something. I'm told Harriet lingers on stage at the end, which I would have liked to have seen.
Train Station Scene - Caroline. Like woah. Very emotional tonight, it was brilliant. After Boq rushed off it looked like she was going to burst into tears/start screaming furiously - brilliantly played. After Fiyero came on, the thinking bit got a big laugh and Dianne rocketed through the name change, barely taking any time to think about it. I liked that Kerry and Oli shared looks behind her back; it sets up their closeness nicely. One of the best bits here for me is "Glinda" "Fiyero" "Elphaba". I think it just sums up the whole triangle nicely. Dianne played sulky Glinda very well and they shared a nice hug before going off to the Emerald City.
One Short Day - I love that this song is staged so decadently and opulently. Those costumes are just out of this world and it's very easy to get caught up in the magic of it all. Not really sure what the digital projections during it are supposed to be. Both girls were on time after the quick change and did a lot of speak-singing, which actually worked very well. Wizomania is ridiculous and brilliant in equal measure. I got caught up watching George again for most of this song.
A Sentimental Man - The Wizard Head is loud, very loud. And so close, everything looks amazing, the movement and the lights. And Andy Mace. What can I say? He was awesome. He played the Wizard perfectly; like a cuddly old man playing with his favourite grand-daughters. He has a very strong singing voice (obviously) and his delivery of the song was very touching. Kerry and Dianne played off each other well in this scene; for instance, when the Wizard sort of lead Elphaba off to the front of the stage, Kerry look back over her shoulder to Dianne and made like a "WTF? Ok..." kind of face. I love that she plays with Chistery for a bit when he comes on. Morrible, Glinda and the Grimmerie was very funny. Kerry was looking either at the conductor or into the front row and was giggling while she chanted. I think it's a tough acting moment, when the Wizard is revealed as a fraud, and Kerry played if marvelously. Shocked and sad kind of blended together and I think she welled up a bit. Very good indeed.
Defying Gravity - Kerry was nice and convincing at looking for stairs out of the attic - I hate it when they just immediately say the line. Even though I know the speech word for word, Harriet was still terrifying. Kerry slightly teared up at this point, which was very touching. I really like her verses of this song, and when she gets to the choruses, it feels like she's taking refuge in the words 'defying gravity', she looks all serene and happy. Kerry had barely finished her chanting before Dianne was right in there with "Sweet Oz" at the broom - a little too fast to be convincing. Their duet part was very good, their chemistry came across very well. They shared a look when the cape went on and Kerry hid a little smirk. What is with the recording of the guards at the door? It's very muffled and the banging is very quiet. The flying section was very good - I think Kerry might have been slightly ahead of the lift, or it was a little slow at the beginning. I really love that she doesn't kind of put the broom under her arm on the rise any more, she lifts it up to the side, SJB-style. A little mini-growl on "look" and lots of very strong high notes. Good broom-work throughout and a nicely shouted "to those who'd ground me". I also love that it's now "graviTy". No rushing here at all, and it was all excellent. The lighting in this number is just outstanding, it has to be said. It genuinely looked like she was standing in mid-air. Loved it.
No One Mourns the Wicked [Reprise] - There really is no warning that Act Two is going to start; suddenly the lights are down and the ensemble are on stage. I watched George again for a while before glancing round at the others. It's odd that they seem to be putting so little effort into singing (ie some of them barely had open mouths) and yet this huge sound is produced.
Thank Goodness - Dianne did the Evita pose, which I love, but sped through her lines, which I do not. Oddly, while her delivery was fast, she held out a lot of notes a lot longer than normal, just at the end of phrases and things. Her little interlude with Fiyero was very sad; great acting from both of them. Some of my favourite music in the show comes after Fiyero says "You're right" in this scene - very pretty. I loved the 'I Couldn't be Happier' section. More long holding of notes and I think it's great that Dianne now does some Kendra-style belting at points. She looked genuinely sad for most of the song, but slightly too happy for me at the end (having seen Helen, who was devastated/ing). Her high notes were lovely - the last one, while short, is very pure and nice.
Wicked Witch of the East - This is one of my favourite scenes in the entire show. Normally I really hate the whole appearing-in-a-cupboard thing, but I felt it worked last night. I still hate the line "the green just get greener" but Kerry looked suitably dramatic. Her chanting was nice, with Caroline positively screaming about her shoes being on fire. I love how stiff she is with her walking (I'm 'loving' a lot of stuff here, aren't I?). Jeremy did shocked very well (again, I was surprisingly impressed). I adore (trying to go for some synonyms) how dramatic and crazed everything gets here. It's all mad with Boq having a heart attack, Nessa doing her mental chanting and Elphaba trying to control her. Caroline's "lost your heart?" was chilling to say the least. However she just went onto another level during her song. Tears, belting, heart-brokenness, she had it all. Absolutely fierce in both the singing and acting departments - desperate, angry, sad, all of it. George as the Tin Man got lots of oohs and aahs. Hands down the best rendition of the song I've ever heard. I went into the show not a big fan of Caroline and came out in pure awe.
Wonderful - I love the ballroom transition, I think it's beautiful. All of the ensemble looked stunning in their fancy costumes. Wonderful is such a great song and Andy was wonderful in it. Absolutely hilarious throughout, though Kerry stood strong very well. His voice is so powerful, it's nice to hear him belt it out. Spiffy soft-shoe and well-acted.
Freeing the Monkeys / A Reunion - This scene is very loud. I didn't realise quite how many monkeys there were, they were everywhere! It was nice that Kerry did her cackle here, though I always think it's a shame that they couldn't include the line "Fly my pretties, fly!". Also, had I not known to look, I would never have spotted the blanket sliding upstage, there's just too much going on. When Oli pulled the Wizard out from behind the head, there was definitely a little flicker between him and Andy. Dianne's 'uni' line got a lot of laughs, as did Oli's "but it was". I liked that he delivered it to Elphaba - normally it gets said to Glinda, but this was much better. When they ran off, I felt that Dianne was slightly distant, not wholly in the moment. Harriet's "change in the weather" goes from very quiet to suddenly loud, which worked well. I didn't realise how long the Oz-Head stayed lit into the next scene.
I'm Not That Girl [Reprise] - Now normally Dianne completely nails this. Vocally she was bang on tonight, but it just felt like her heart wasn't in it. By the time she got to the last note (which was gorgeous) she was staring off-stage left and walked almost purposefully across the stage and off.
As Long As You're Mine - I felt like Oli turned off a bit in this song. I love it when Elphaba and Fiyero are all over each other, but for the entire first verse, he was lounging on the ground, looking slightly uninterested. Vocally, they were both flawless and they sounded marvellous together. Oli's response to Elphaba's refusal to kiss him is very funny - he totally thought he was getting some and seemed more than a little miffed to be refused it. Kerry's "wicked" at the end sounded very innocent, which I prefer to sultry. However, when the open chords are played up the octave at the end, underneath the 'wicked' line, are they not normally played twice? The lines were said so fast that we only got them once. I love the digital projections of the house and wind, they're both very convincing. Oli totally sold the wind and threw himself around the stage.
Cornfield Scene - This was the only part of the show where there was something I couldn't see, and it was just the Yellow Brick Road, so not hugely important. Again, Dianne was very speedy with her lines and the fight wasn't really savoured, I felt. Both slaps stopped quite far short of their cheeks but the audience was loving it anyway. Oli swung in with no problems and got a big old laugh and smirks from Kerry and the guards. When Fiyero points the gun at Glinda and Elphaba tries to break away, Kerry cracked up. After she ran off, I really liked how, the final time Fiyero pointed the gun at her, Dianne put her hands down and slowly walked towards him; I thought that was really moving. When he was being taken away by the guards, Dianne's "Fiyeroooo" was odd. When she started it, it was going to be a magnificent one, with a nice 'H' in there for emphasis. However, something cut her off, so all we got was "Fiye-hro", and she didn't hold it at all. I don't know if one of the guards bumped into her or what, but it was definitely strange.
No Good Deed - The lighting in this number is just outstanding, I really love it. Again, the vocal power that Kerry possesses really only comes through when you hear it live. Just incredible. Great emotions throughout, especially on "was I really seeking good?". I also very much liked her "I'm wicked" - chilling. Everyone around me was incredibly impressed by the end of the song, as was I. One of the things I noticed (here and earlier) that on very big, long notes, Kerry goes straight in with vibrato, goes out to straight tone and then back in with vibrato at the end - it's unusual, but I love it. Huge, monstrous cheers afterwards.
March of the Witch Hunters - Still lots of high energy from the ensemble. Jeremy's speech was great (as was the cast's response to "Elpha-". When they go into slow motion, George was halfway up the ladder towards Boq and he and Jeremy froze while making eye contact. I couldn't see what, but George was clearly doing something very funny as Jeremy kept having to suppress a smile. Harriet and Dianne were super and very scary and sad respectively. I approve of the fact that Dianne didn't hurry off after their dialogue, she stayed waving slowly a la Helen.
Kiamo Ko - Kerry got of laughs after shouting at Dorothy - her crying is Sarah, isn't it? Dianne also got a great reception with her jokes (and a lot of people around me went "Hehe, Dodo, did you hear that, she said Dodo!". Anyway, I thought it was slightly overdone when Chistery brought out the note, as Kerry exclaimed, "Oh no!". Kerry played resigned and sad very well as she brought out the bucket, it was very emotional. One of my favourite lines is "Alright, I promise. But I don't understand." and Dianne completely nailed it. It sort of sums up Glinda for me - maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed, but loyal and good. Dianne said it regretfully, confusedly and questioningly. Perfect.
For Good - This song was a bit odd - not very sad, in fact both of them had smiles on most of the time, which was a little unexpected but it worked quite well. It was like they were sad that they had to say goodbye but happy to have been with each other to the end. We got the 'boulder' laugh as per usual and the harmonies at the end were lovely. The pair maintained eye contact for the entire last chorus which was very sweet. Dianne poked Kerry's hat - I awwwed.
The Melting - Beautifully done, everything was perfect here. When Elphaba first told her to hide, Dianne kind of just stood against the arch stage left, and then when Elphaba said it again more sharply, she nipped down towards the front and crouched down. Then, and I was praying they would do this, Kerry put her finger to her lips to tell Glinda to be quiet and Dianne slowly mimicked it. Heart-breaking. The shadows on the scrim looked good, as did the actually melting. Kerry's moaning lasts till forever! Dianne seemed devastated when she picked up that hat. I really like Matthew as Chistery, his single line was very touching.
The Aftermath - I do think the dialogue in this scene lays it on a bit heavy - yes, we get it, the Wizard is her father, you don't need to spell it out. Andy looked gutted and collapsed and Dianne turned into ABG - all business Glinda. Her imitation of Harriet was very funny and got a smattering of applause.
Finale - The end of Wicked is always a bit of a downer. Dianne looked beautiful again in the bubble - mournful but brave. Oli's Scarecrow lollop is perfect and I always like the bit of 'If I Only Had a Brain' here. When he opened the trapdoor there was no applause but a kind of general sound of pleasure. When Kerry came out, let's just say that those white trousers are to Oli what that ending dress is to Kerry. Dianne's "Glinda the Good" speech was very moving indeed and her tiny duet with Kerry was just lovely. Much applause at the blackout.
Curtain Call - The audience had been great for cheering and applauding throughout (though not inappropriately), but at the end, they were a little slow. Nobody at all stood up until the girls came out, and even then it wasn't that many of us at first. Well, actually the entire front row was on their feet instantly and they all ran to the edge of the pit - is that normal? I think Kerry recognised some of them cause she kept waving. People slowly got to their feet but it was by no means everyone - very few in the circle. The cast seemed very merry and Kerry gave a nice spinning bow as the curtain came down.
Stage Door - I legged it round to the stage door as quickly as I could, but even so there were enough people their already to be getting on with. I got to chatting with a girl called Katie (hi if you're reading this) and her mum - they agreed to take my pictures if I would tell them who was who. Oli was out after about 10 minutes and he is completely charming. Happy to sign my programme and take a picture, chatting all the while. Unfortunately, I'm 5'5 and he's 6'a million, so I told him the photo would put a bit of a dent in my self esteem. Someone next to me mentioned about Kerry using an American accent on Broadway and a British one here, and Oli replied, "You think Kerry has British accent in the show..? Nah, I'm just kidding." A funny fellow. He also said that Kerry thinks some things in the show are better in the US and some are better over here. Someone near us either gave him a mini-Scarecrow or had him sign one. Then a quite abrasive woman pushed to the front and demanded he sign a programme 'for Saskia'. And another 'for Natalie'. She had another, but someone she was with sensibly told her enough was enough. After speaking to us for a while he wished us a lovely evening. What a gentleman. I think Nadine was out next but she seemed in a bit of a rush, so I just said hello. Stoller came out too, but didn't come down the line, he went out the other end. Then Harriet came out and was very nice and happy to chat a bit before signing. Next was Jeremy who is quiet and lovely. I didn't ask for a photo, but when I signed my programme I told him it was a great performance and he did seem genuinely flattered. A very nice guy. George came out after that but again he didn't come down the line - I only saw him as he was crossing the road and I was very disappointed I didn't get to thank him, as I thought he was excellent throughout the whole show. Kerry came out next - her hair is just gorgeous. Anyway, she made her way down the line and obviously recognised the guy beside me because she asked him how many shows he was on now, and he replied with 51. 51! He had a whole mess of stuff for her to sign, including a My Fair Lady poster which she seemed slightly taken aback by, as that's going back quite some way. While he was futtering through his folder of things to get signed, Kerry signed my programme and I got a quick photo. As it was being taken I remembered to thank her for replying to the letter I had sent a while ago, and she seemed surprised and genuinely pleased to be thanked, repeatedly telling me it was her pleasure. She looked really great. After she finished the line, I saw her meet up with Mr. Kerry and they got in a cab together. Next up was Caroline who is stunning. Surprisingly thin, and very beautiful. She seemed to concentrate hard on signing, and when my pen threatened to run out she took the time to very carefully go back over what she'd written to make sure it came out. When we were getting a photo, I said I thought she was great that night, and some patronising woman said very loudly, "Aw, that's so cute." Caroline seemed to ignore it but signed their stuff quite quickly before heading on. She's awesome. I waited around about forty minutes altogether, and neither Dianne nor Andy appeared, so I decided to call it a night. All in all, I had a marvellous time and would be well up for going again.
Reviewed by Boq Dillamond