A review of Wicked the Musical in Sydney
Wicked is a magical musical
Wicked the musical offers a spell-binding back story about Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Sheridan Adams plays Elphaba in the new rendition of Wicked now showing at Sydney’s Lyric theatre. She is a strong lead but eclipsed by Courtney Monsma who was celebrated in the musical Frozen before taking on the role of Glinda the good witch.
Courtney Monsma as Glinda the good witch
Monsma steals the show with her comical timing, her presence on stage and her glittering costumes. She plays a dumb blonde style witch-to-be but in no way is it a stereotype. She has some interesting expressions in her lines which at first may be confusifying. Yet the new expressions in the land of Oz offer a well-rounded crafting of this fantasy world. Words such as disgusticified, disrespectation, festivating, horrendible all add to the humour. And with creation of language comes power. As George Orwell famously stated, ‘there is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language.’ These Orwellian themes seen in Animal Farm and 1984 are reflected in the corrupt officialdom in the merry old land of Oz.
Robyn Nevin as Madam Morrible
Robyn Nevin is truly an Australian icon and there could be no better casting for the role of Madam Morrible. She transformed from headmistress of Shiz University to become the Wizard of Oz’s press secretary giving well elocuted false information to the Ozians adding to proganda theme. (It was rather apt to see this topic aired on opening night with at least one row of prominent politicians who may have been silently squirming in their (I’m guessing) complimentary seats.)
But back to the animals of Oz. Animals once taught at Shiz University which is attended by Elphaba and Glinda but no longer as they have been losing their voices courtesy of the wizard. The last animal to teach is the goat, Dr Dillamond played by Adam Murphy. He was incredible in the role and a definite crowd favourite.
Todd McKenny as the Wizard of Oz
It is Elphaba’s love of animals and passion for animal rights that inspired love interest, Fiyero to see her in a different light to his first meeting with her. It is this ardor that sets her against the Wizard of Oz played brilliantly by Todd McKenny. He doesn’t miss a beat in the role and performed to much applause. He brings his own interpretation to the role which was quite different to Bert Newton who I saw in the role around a decade ago. Both were wonderful and both gave their own take on the role of the wizard.
Liam Head, as Fiyero, made a confident entrance, gliding across the stage. A newly anointed Hemsworth look-a-like is born and will no doubt gain many followers after his stunning performance.
The smaller parts of Nessarose (Shewit Belay) and Boq (Kurtis Papadinis) showcased equally inspiring talent to create this top notch production.
One can’t forget the overpowering mechanical dragon’s head hanging high above the stage like an ever imposing Smaug and the skilfully designed sets (Eugene Lee) , the lighting (Kenneth Posner) and the ethereal costumes (Susan Hilferty) which all make this a ‘thrillifying’ production.
Where is Wicked playing?
Venue Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
Season Selling to 31 December
Performance Times Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6:30pm
Prices: From $79.00 (Transaction fees apply)
Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100