‘Wicked’: The Most ‘Swankified’ Show in Town

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The first national tour of “Wicked” is currently taking residence at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. With a cast consisting of Dee Roscioli (Elphaba), Jenn Gambatese (Glinda), Kim Zimmer (Madame Morrible) and Tom McGowan (The Wizard), it is truly a sight that should not be missed.

Performing for over seven years, the first national tour of “Wicked” has visited countless cities across the United States and Canada, continually selling out at the box offices.

“Wicked” tells the story of the witches of Oz and what really happened long before Dorothy dropped in. Two girls, Glinda, born rich and popular, and Elphaba, born with emerald skin, meet and against all odds, become friends. The two grow together and are thrown into opposing roles, as Glinda becomes the Good Witch and Elphaba becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West.

The production at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts is breathtaking. From the moment that Glinda descends upon the citizens of Oz in her bubble to the final moments of Glinda mourning the loss of her friend, the audience is captivated by the Grammy award-wining music and Tony award-winning costumes and scenic design.

Each performer adds his or her own take on all of the well-known characters from Oz. Dee Roscioli has a very rare interpretation of Elphaba that must be seen to fully understand. She creates a very headstrong Elphaba from the very beginning and still manages to show character growth throughout the show.

Jenn Gambatese, who will be starring in the show on February 26, 2013, will be portraying Glinda for the rest of the run in Costa Mesa. While there was no opportunity to view Gambatese’s performance, her understudy, Cassie Okenka, gave an outstanding one. If Gambatese’s performance is as good as her understudies, then the show is bound to be as successful here as it has in previous cities.

Combining the cast with the unbelievable sets and designs, this production of “Wicked” is continuing its streak of wowing crowds all across the United States. The story told throughout the show is one of friendship, love and loss. It is definitely a show that, through its many layers, starting with the performers themselves and ending with the personal growth of every character, has something in it for everyone.

“Wicked” is one that has the audience going through a range of emotions, from laughing like crazy to sobbing at the saddest scenes. What’s even more amazing to watch than the story being told is the amazing lighting designs and effects, along with the costume designs.

The production’s lighting design has the audience stunned at every moment of the show. Even in the darkest scenes, the lighting the show uses to create the environment is brilliant. In the brightest scenes, like when the witches are in the Emerald City, the stage is lit up with bright lights that would make anyone think they were truly in Oz.

The costumes, each hand-stitched and hand-beaded, are as imaginative and creative as the land of Oz is. Each costume has amazing detail and without that detail, the show would not be as breathe taking as it is now.

Even members of the show are taken with the show. “Wicked” is such a great musical.  “‘Wicked’ is such a hit musical because of all of the elements that make up the show,” Napoleon Gladney, one of the ensemble members, said. “It’s such a powerful story. The book is phenomenal, the music, the lights, everything that makes up the show is just so unique and so relatable. I think it’s a show that anyone that’s going to see it can get behind.”

If you are still unsure of whether or not you want to see the show, Brenda Hamilton, understudy for Nessarose, said, “You can expect a great production and you can expect to witness a really great story being told. Audiences of all ages: men, women, and children will come for a really enjoyable evening.”

With performances running until March 17 in Costa Mesa, it is important to get tickets soon before the production sell out this box office too. Tickets start at $44.50. The box office is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. However, if you think that $44.50 is too expensive, there is still a chance for you to catch the show. “Wicked” offers a lottery two and a half hours before each performance, where you can enter to win $25.00 tickets.

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