The magical wizards and munchkins of Oz arrived last week at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. With its quirky, powerful and fierce characters, “Wicked” has overwhelmed its Buffalo audiences with wonder and awe.
The tragic tale of Elphaba Thropp is exposed through her life story. The show illuminates her transformation from a green, innocent student into the Wicked Witch of the West in two hours and 30 minutes. As Elphaba enters the world of college, she encounters several people that greatly impact her life. Miss Glinda becomes her roommate and the first person to see beneath Elphaba’s greenness and recognize a reasonably kind girl with a boldness like no other. The vastly contrasting duo, in the sincerity of their touching friendship, travel to the Emerald City hand in hand. Just as the beyond-excited characters are blown away at the sight of the city’s commotion, the audience can’t help but stare in fascination at the wondrous green that engulfs the entirety of the Wizard of Oz’s popular town.
When Elphaba uncovers the wizard’s lack of kindness, her chaotic downfall starts to unfold. Her copious good intentions and bad outcomes cause the deepest sympathy to form even for the most wicked witch. The catastrophic idea and legend the infamous witch leaves behind prevents her from ever returning to Oz after her “death.” Her only friend and sympathizer, Glinda, is left believing that her most influential friend is gone forever. The tragedy of the misunderstood Elphaba touches audiences with the hilarity, authenticity and valiance that is intertwined through its characters and events. “Wicked’s” suspenseful, emotional music fills the crowd with a sense of liveliness and vigor and leaves a touching feeling that lingers long after its end.
Alexa Rosenblatt is a sophomore at City Honors.