Wicked fun

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 10, 2007

Wicked goes through the motions of suggesting the sources of human corruption and evil, but since this is a lighthearted musical, we can hardly expect trenchant psychological insight. Joe Mantello won a Tony for directing, not Peter Kramer. But the principal actors do very well with their characters. DeCicco’s job may be both the hardest and the most fun, tackling the perky Glinda role that the minute Kristin Chenoweth wowed Broadway audiences with. DeCicco is petite and has a high vocal range, but more importantly she makes the infernally cheerful character her own. As Elphaba, Matlock has to be more subdued, but she nevertheless wins us over with quiet charm.

As is required for touring Broadway shows with prices approaching Broadway’s, the production values are terrific. The costumes by Susan Hilferty are hilariously exquisite, the fantasy hats and frocks mostly in shades of green. Eugene Lee’s Tony-winning sets also wow us within a visual restriction: the motif of rust-colored gears, some huge and with teeth as dangerous as beasts’, reminding us both of the H.G. Wells-style fantasy and the totalitarian state warning of the story.

Wicked can be wicked fun if you don’t expect more than that.

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