Review Scene: Wicked, Regent Theatre, 7th March 2024 by Laura Boukouvalas

The musical phenomenon Wicked returned to Melbourne on 2ndof March followed by a glittering and star-studded opening night on 7th March at the Regent Theatre.  

Following on from a highly successful six-month season in Sydney, Melbourne audiences can once again ‘rejoicify’ and escape into the wonderfully magical world of Wicked.  It’s an absolute tour de force that is not to be missed with ‘thrillifying’ performances set amongst spectacular staging.

Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other young women meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. The other is bubbly, blonde, ambitious and exceptionally popular. They become rivals, then friends… until the world decides to call one “good” and the other one “wicked.”

The story incorporates messages about love and friendship, power and deception and above all remaining true to one’s selfand the courage of your convictions. The relationships that unfold and character development that takes place among the lead roles is highly endearing.

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The clever set design is an absolute visual feast extending well beyond the stage and into the theatre.  Presided over by the huge time dragon, the stage is flanked with giant cogs and mechanisms inspired by the Wizard’s inventions.  All lit up with beautifully with atmospheric lighting that goes from moody and mysterious to glittery and spectacular.  In the course of the showwe are transported from one portion of their beautifully magical world to the next.

The Australian show is exceptionally well cast. Led by a highly entertaining Courtney Monsma as Glinda, the bubbly popular girl who becomes “Glinda the Good”.  Monsma is captivating as the somewhat vain and self-centred Glinda and delivers her character flaws to great comedic effect that has the audience laughing all the way through. Alongside Monsma and in her debut in a lead role, Melbourne-born Sheridan Adams plays Elphaba, the girl born with emerald-green skin who grows up to become the “Wicked Witch of the West”. Adams performance is an absolute triumph.  She is highly engaging as she portrays the powerful emotions and internal conflict that Elphaba is faced with. Supported by acting royalty, Robyn Nevin who gives us a very shrewd and charismatic Madame Morrible, Simon Burke is delightful as the tricky and conniving Wizard. Liam Head plays Fiyero with great swagger, Adam Murphy is very endearing Dr Dillamond, Shewit Belay plays the tormented Nessarose, Kurtis Papadinis is charming as Boq.

The entire Wicked ensemble delivers a super slick, well-honed performance with delightfully melodic vocals that meld seamlessly with the skillfully delivered orchestral music, allowing for complete audience immersion.  Monsma and Adams both powerfully deliver their numeroussolos with each feeling more impressive than the last.  Adams nails her delivery of the climactic Defying Gravity.  The costume design by Susan Hilferty is another highlight, creating perfectly composed swathes of colour and movement across the ensemble.

Recently celebrating 20 years since its premiere on Broadway, WICKED remains one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world. Over 65 million people worldwide have seen this spectacular phenomenon, and WICKED has become the 4th longest running show in Broadway history.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production features musical staging by Wayne Cilento with original direction by Joe Mantello. WICKED is produced in Australia by John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia, Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Experience the unforgettable, award-winning musical WICKED in Melbourne.

  

wickedthemusical.com.au @WickedInOz #WickedInOz 

Venue Regent Theatre, Melbourne 

Season From 2 March Performance Times Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6:30pm 

Prices: From $79.00

Bookings: ticketek.com.au or phone 1300 111 011