Friday, November 15

Review: Wicked 2013 Indianapolis

The old sayings, "You've got to see it to believe it," and "You either get 'IT'or you don't," are certainly sayings that could be (and probably are) applied to WICKED.

With its 10th anniversary this year, and nine current productions performing around the globe, I must say I was completely floored (meaning I, of all people, was momentarily speechless) during intermission. A gentleman sitting in front of me struck up a conversation and nonchalantly stated he had bought the ticket on a whim while in town for business ~ with no clue what the show was about. He had no idea it was in reference to Wizard of Oz and had no anticipation. He was simply ready to enjoy a live theater production and that was what caught his eye online.

Wow.

The winner of more than 50 major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, was unknown to this gentleman. Naturally, I reflected back to my first time of seeing it in Chicago, and the subsequent reviews of "Wicked" I have written ~ each one a totally different experience and finding different aspects most notable.
At my first experience, I was blown away ~ as almost everyone is. The second, I noticed the nods to the book, film and characters. At my third, I noticed, and wrote about, the symbolism transportation played ~ in this review (REVIEW: WICKED 2010).

After seeing any show several times, the viewer naturally compares the actors and have those they feel most closely fit the bill, the ones they believe most talented, etc.

This production stars Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba and Hayley Podschun as Glinda. If you are a fan of Kristin Chenoweth and, frankly, who isn't? ~ then, you will absolutely adore Podschun. She practically radiates on stage during "Popular," drawing ecstatic applause from the engaged audience.

Naturally, DiNoia's rendition of the power ballad won thunderous applause. It is definitely one of DiNoia's finer moments in the performance. Her other being the duet, "What is this Feeling?" with Podschun as the two opposing witches realize how much they loathe each other.

The main issue with anyone stepping into the sparkly shoes of Glinda or the work boots of Elphaba in the musical loosely based on Gregory Maguire's novel, is they are attempting to fill seriously talented footsteps. Even those who have not (gasp) seen the musical, have more than likely heard of the Broadway originators of the roles ~ Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (read review of her solo performance here).
And therein lies the problem. Can anyone ever make the role truly their own, while compared to the greats at every turn?

Probably not.
At least not for another 10 years.

It would be equivalent to performing a role so well the audience forgets Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz), Michael Crawford (Phantom of the Opera), or Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean). Whether a stage or screen production, some performers become the standard for all others after them. A tough act.

With that said, it's like being in the top 10 percent of your graduating class. No, you aren't No. 1 or 2, but you're still in the top percentile. Nothing to be upset over.

Bottom Line: Whether this is your first, or 15th time, Wicked is a must-see anytime it is in town.
Performance Schedule
There is no performance on Thanksgiving Day,Thursday, November 28.
November 13-17: Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm, Thursday matinee at 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm, Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm; November 19-24: Tuesday –Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm, Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm; November 26 – December 1: Monday – Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm, Friday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm.


Images: provided by BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com; Joan Marcus

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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