Last night my daughter (9 years old) and I attended the Redcliffe Musical Theatre's community theatre premier of Wicked. We have been waiting (very impatiently mind you) for the show to open and it certainly did not disappoint. Wicked is our all time favourite musical and having seen it twice before at a professional level we weren't sure what to expect going into the theatre. Well, from the minute we walked in to the theatre there was a buzz, you couldn't help but get swept up in the magic that is Wicked – the fire pits hanging from the lighting platform, the Oz "clock cogs" on the sound desk – we felt as though we were Ozians waiting to see the Wizard. The atmosphere was electric even before the curtains opened. And, when they did and the ensemble opened with No One Mourns The Wicked and Glinda flew in on her bubble we were spellbound right until the end.
We have to say that the cast for the show was incredible. Each and every member of the cast were on point and showed amazing characterisation and truly made you think you were in another realm in the Land of Oz. I was absolutely blown away when I found out that the average age of the cast was 23 years of age. They all looked like they were seasoned professionals on that stage. The whole cast was amazing and I don't think I could pick a standout if I tried – they were all equally spectacular.
Special mention must be made to the two leading ladies of the show – I am sure that both Dani Haraud (Glinda) and Katharine Vacca (Elphaba) knew what big shoes (or witches hat) they had to fill in their roles but they each brought their own little something to the characters and captivated our hearts from the moment they both appeared on stage. They took us on a journey with every witty line, every amazing note they sang and their duets together were just breathtaking – they made you feel all different emotions as their unlikely friendship grew and their road to Wicked and Good hit a few bumps along the way.
We have seen many productions at a community theatre level and I must say that the decision to remove the orchestra from the pit and put them in another room was fabulous. In a small venue like the Redcliffe Cultural Centre a pit orchestra can at times drown out the voices of the cast on stage but not last night – we heard every word they sang and said over the music - a brilliant decision by the production crew.
We loved everything about this production – the set, the costumes (which were fabulous and quirky – everything a show like this calls for), the orchestra, the flying effects, the lighting – all the different facets came together to produce a show that was "thrillifying" and left you wanting more. In fact we wanted more so badly we are booking tickets to go and see it again!
If you haven't got your tickets yet for this amazing production then do so quick before they sell out. Thank you Redcliffe Musical Theatre for another great night out.