Alex: Wicked ‘a reverse journey down the yellow brick road’

Scene from Wicked (Mirvish Productions)

Wicked the musical has a devoted following, and is back for its fourth time on stage in Toronto.

Revisiting the imaginative land of Oz, and told from the point of view of the story’s witches, this magically marvelous fairy tale introduces two young women who meet as schoolmates, become toxic rivals, before realizing they are actually bosom buddies.

Glinda is a beautiful, pampered blonde airhead, popular with everyone, including herself. Elphaba in contrast, though good and kind by nature, is an outcast, misunderstood because she was born with green skin.

The two graduate to the wider world of Oz where life is turning decidedly ominous. It allows an atmosphere of despair leading to hope.

Big power ballads allow the two witchy characters to explode vocally into the upper reaches of the theatre.

Wicked is a reverse journey down the yellow brick road before Dorothy ever landed in Oz, before there were tin men and skittish lions, and before the Wicked Witch of the West was ever wicked.

Wicked is playing at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish theatre through November 2nd.