LIFESTYLE | THEATRE

Wicked fun

Michelle Baltazar

GalindaI admit it. I’ve been Galindafied. If you don’t know what I mean, then you haven’t seen one of the most thrillifying and scandalacious musical of all time – Wicked.

While the musical should be applauded for breathing fire into the otherwise boilerplate villainous character of the wicked witch of Oz (the one Dorothy killed with a pail of water in the Wizard of Oz), it should also be doubly complimented for introducing super-funny fantabulous new words woven into the script.

Wicked begins where Wizard of Oz ends: the citizens of Emerald City are “celebrifying” the death of the bad witch. But as they rejoiced, some questions were unanswered. The audience soon finds out that the girl from Kansas was merely a bit player in a bigger drama unfolding in Oz: one about the lives of Elphaba, the wicked witch, and Glinda, a.k.a. Galinda, the good witch.

Elphaba and Glinda
Photo by Jeff Busby from www.wickedthemusical.com.au

Elphaba and Glinda are frenemies. Their relationship started off as one-dimensional (they hated each other) to complicated (they loved and hated each other). It is the unraveling of their friendship, poked and prodded by the people around them, that gives the show a harder edge and more depth than your typical comedic musical.

 

Powerful vocal performances, superb costume and set design, and a well-crafted script: Wicked had it all. No wonder it won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Audience Award for ‘Most Popular Show’, 10 Tony Award nominations in a year (2004) and six Drama Desk Awards.

Fiyero and ElphabaBut I have to say that I walked out of the theatre thinking how charmed I was by Glinda’s character, especially when she performed the song ‘Popular’, a key turning point where she tried to “Galindafy”, or improve, the geeky Elphaba.

If you’re only going to watch one musical this year, make it Wicked. Some people say it’s overrated (I disagree) but more than 15 award nominations can’t be wrong. And you might just learn one splendiferous word or two.

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Curve Café and Bar at the Vibe Hotel on Goulburn Street, Sydney is a great after-work spot for drinks sans the crazy Friday crowds. It’s also perfect for an early dinner before a show at the Capitol Threatre since it’s less than a 10-minute walk away.

Vibe barI tried the starter plate of white anchovy, marinated olive and chilli flat bread with Murray river pink salt and butter (five out of five!) and for mains, I had the crispy-skinned barramundi fillet (better than the one I tried at a couple of five-star restaurants). Other guests said both the pan-seared beef fillet and vegetable lasagna dishes were good, too.

So, does the Vibe Hotel and Wicked night out pass the “Would I take my mum, dad, brother, sister, auntie, uncle, lolo, lola and cool cousins there” test? Yes!

By Michelle Baltazar
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