The production of Wicked, at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto began with a full house and ended with every seat empty as the crowd rose for a standing ovation.
Wicked, both witty and touching, provides the back story to the Wizard of Oz. If you’ve ever wondered what really happened before, during and after Dorothy followed the yellow brick road, then seeing this production is a must.
The show begins where the classic film ends, with the death of the wicked witch. Glinda (played by Kara Lindsay) begins to reminisce on her past as she explains her association with the wicked witch – they were, in fact, great friends.
The audience witnesses Elphaba (played by Laurel Harris), more commonly known as the wicked witch, from birth to adulthood, her college years and her past with Glinda the Good.
What began as a rivalry soon blossomed into an unusual friendship when Glinda and Elphaba were assigned to the same dorm room.
Although not accepted socially because of her green skin, Elphaba was able to capture the heart of Glinda, who took her under her wing in a quest to change her life for the better.
During this scene, Lindsay entertained the audience with her rendition of ‘Popular’, a fun and satirical number in which plans of popularity are brought to life.
After a visit to the wizard in the Emerald City leads to Elphaba’s discovery of the mistreatment of animals, the plot is changed and all of Oz is turned against her.
In the end, we see that contrary to the film, and to the belief of her friend Glinda, Elphaba is alive and managed to allude the guards who came for her by staging her death at the hands of young Dorothy.
One of the final musical pieces, ‘For Good’, performed by both Lindsay and Harris, is an emotional farewell between the two friends. They sing “who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” emphasizing the impact that they have had on each other’s lives.
This production runs for just under 3 hours, including a fifteen minute intermission. The Mirvish Theatre is elegant, well staffed and a great venue for this event.
From the time I arrived, right up to my departure, there were helpful ushers to assist me throughout my stay. There was even staff in the washroom to help direct you to an available stall.
My over-all experience was great. I laughed, I cried and I had an amazing time. This production definitely lived up to the hype created by the media and then some.
For anyone who was waiting for Wicked to return to Toronto after its last visit to the city, it was well worth the wait. I would recommend seeing this to everyone, and will continue to speak highly of the broadway production.