A GREAT BIG LUSCIOUS BROADWAY EXTRAVAGANZA
WICKED has been around for over a year now, but the hit musical is just as powerful and subversive as ever.
Based on the cult novel by Gregory Maguire (who adapted the original Wizard of Oz story), it's a fabulous night out, with an Emerald City to rival any computer game.
Wicked has become one of London's most fervent cults, inspiring extraordinary devotion in fans.
Anyone who's ever felt like an outsider will relate to the story of bookish outcast, Elphaba (born a fetching shade of green) whose harsh treatment by her peers earns her the name the wicked witch of the west. Which, no doubt, is why Ed Balls MP recently chose the show to launch a £3 million Anti-Bullying campaign, appearing on stage with the actors.
In between the show tunes, there's a very adult allegory. The original Judy Garland film was made in 1939 on the eve of Nazi domination. When Maguire came to adapt the modern version in the 1990s, he was living in London at the time of the Gulf War. He says he wanted to explore the root of incomprehensible evil - and whether Saddam Hussein was the next Hitler. So Oz becomes a land of animal experimentation and a yellow brick road built by Munchkin slave labour.
I'm making it sound too worthy. Wicked is a great big luscious Broadway extravaganza with two strong female leads and a lot of power ballads. But there's medicine in with the sugar.
Back to Reviews