Broadway Blockbuster Wicked Shows Boston Theatergoers A Wicked Good Time

Posted May 31, 2017 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts

Lex Luther and Superman. Voldemort and Harry. Batman and the Joker. Literary arch-rivals have been fighting each other since the dawn of writing. In fact, you can even point to the very firsts – Cain and Abel – if you want to go super old school.

We’ll never know most of the who-what-when-where-whys that started these adversaries off on the wrong foot. But there’s one story we do know – the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. We’re talking before the twirling house, the glitzy ruby slippers, and those gross flying monkeys. And it all unfolds on stage at the Boston Opera House during Wicked.

The giant Broadway musical blockbuster (for that matter, the most popular show Boston has ever seen) will return to the city’s theater district for a seven-week engagement June 7 through July 23.
Part of Broadway In Boston’s 2016-2017 Season, this box-office breaking show has won more than 100 international awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, has earned the nickname “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” from The New York Times.

Consider it a Land of Oz and Munchkinland history lesson, long before the arrival of that girl from Kansas and Toto too. At this time, there’s an unlikely friendship growing between two young women. There’s Elphaba (played by Jessica Vosk and who we come to know as the Wicked Witch of the West). This gifted girl was born with a gift, a fiery temper, brains, and emerald-green skin. The story begins when she meets a bubbly and popular beautiful blonde named Galinda (played by Ginna Claire Mason, whose name morphs into Glinda the Good Witch) at Shiz University.

It’s the typical college-age struggles – roomies with polar opposite personalities, falling in love with the same guy (Fiyero, played by Jeremy Woodard), and opposing political views on the Wizard’s (played by Fred Applegate) corrupt regime. How these two grow to fill the shoes they were meant to wear makes for “the most complete—and completely satisfying—new musical in a long time,” according to USA Today. The two girls make it all the way through the battles, and become unlikely friends. That is until the world calls one “good,” and the other “wicked.”

The Academy Award-winning mastermind behind Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt, Stephen Schwartz handles the music and lyrics, and the book by Winnie Holzman can be added to her whirlwind career, which includes “My So Called Life” and “thirtysomething.” The show is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out and The Vagina Monologues) and features musical staging by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento (Aida and The Who’s Tommy). The score is a thrilling exercise in brains, heart and courage (so says Time magazine), with hits including “Defying Gravity,” “Popular” and “For Good.”

Although Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel had über-adult themes (we remember a few sexy moments that would knock your ruby slippers off), the show is cleared for kids over the age of eight. It’s a coming-of-age story, that takes a look at the nature of good and evil. You might say this show has the potential to bring down the house.

Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm (Thursday, June 8, show is at 7pm; they added a performance on Monday, July 3, at 7:30pm; and there’s no performance on Tuesday, July 4); Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 1pm and 6:30pm. The Boston Opera House is located at 539 Washington Street in Boston.

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