Friday, October 06, 2006

Drama Queen, Rank & Bile At The Theatre - Wicked

So last night it was off to the Apollo Victoria for Wicked the musical story of the witches of Oz.

This musical has taken Broadway by storm but has opened here to mixed reviews here and I can see why. The plot is a somewhat dumbed down version of the brilliant Gregory Maguire novel of the same name and as musicals go it’s a cut above the average.

The sets are fantastic as are the special effects and special mention should be made of the really clever lighting.

The problem is the score, there’s only one vaguely memorable song (Popular) which in a nearly 3 hour production is not a good hit rate and rather than moving the plot along most of the banal ditties stop it dead in its tracks.

All that aside, special praise should go to the cast, especially, Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Helen Dallimore as Glinda who despite the lack of a score still manage to pull off a mini triumph with chutzpah, dazzling voices and two bravura performances. The audience I sat with last night certainly thought so with a standing ovation that brought the house down and this time not on either of the witches’ heads!

What a shame the score didn’t live up to their talents. There is also good, solid, if somewhat camp, support from Adam Garcia, Miriam Margolyes (almost stealing the show in parts) and Nigel Planer, and between them and the sets, you almost forget the score is so weak…..almost.

Definitely a case of, I came out humming the scenery!

More Rank & Bile


Bill said...

How could you not like this show I thought it was just brilliant


Myles said...

Bill maybe you need to go listen to something with a decent score like Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim or Irving Berlin, then come back and tell me this score is still good?!