Published on March 8th, 2024 | by Andrew Paul

Wicked the Musical Review (Melbourne Australia, Regent Theatre) @regent_theatre #WickedInOz

Wicked the Musical Review (Melbourne Australia, Regent Theatre) @regent_theatre #WickedInOz Andrew Paul

Summary: A magical music in the wonderful Land of Oz!



Step into the magical world of Oz…

The internationally acclaimed Broadway blockbuster, Wicked the Musical returns to Melbourne in its third magical instalment. Originally released in New York in 2003, Wicked the Musical is a “prequel” to the Wizard of Oz (1900) that was written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. Decades after the first book was released came the 1939 film which starred Judy Garland, Jack Haley, Roger Bolger, Beth Lahr, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton and Billie Burke. Needless to say, the original film has a very fond place in the hearts of many which is why Wicked the Musical is such a phenomena. There is even a two-part movie coming out later this year based on this musical which stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.

However, back to the review… with some artistic liberty, Wicked the Musical is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Hozlman. Wicked is also produced in Australia by John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia, Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

The premise behind Wicked the Musical revolves around the two young witches who attend this almost Hogwarts like university with the White Witch Glinda or “Ga-Linda” (Courtney Monsma) and the “wicked” emerald-green skinned Witch Elphaba (Sheridan Adams) who started as rivals and then became best friends. Unfortunately the Land of Oz is corrupt courtesy of those in power which causes friction between Elphaba and Glinda, including a handsome prince that throws additional turmoil into the mix for these two witches.

Further, Monsma and Adams have a fantastic onset chemistry and more importantly, their voices boomed throughout The Regent Theatre, particularly the song No Good Deed and I’m not that Girl witch which were both wow moments by Adams to Popular and I’m not that Girl by Monsma. And as their story progressed, so did their two characters evolve such as the ditzy Glinda moving away from her selfishness to Elphaba who found herself teased and tortured throughout life due to her skin colour to a witch who has altruistic motives – it’s a great exploration of both characters.

Supporting the two stars is Liam Head as Print Fiyero who was born to play this almost Disney-like Prince that like Glinda matures as the story progresses to the entertaining Robyn Nevin who plays Madame Morrible, one of the nefarious puppet masters of Oz. Then you have the enigmatic Simon Burke who plays the charlatan Wizard who delivers false promises in order to keep the denizens of Oz under control.

Additionally you have Adam Murphy as the caring Doctor Dillamond, a goat who has this father-daughter relationship with Elphaba and lastly Kurtis Papadinis who plays Boq who secretly loves Glinda but ends up (forcibly) with wheelchair bound, Nessaose (Shewit Bela) who is  Elphaba’s younger sister. There are also plenty of Easter Eggs from the original story such as the twister, shoes and even the famous ending but with a modern twist. It’s musical storytelling at its best.

A special mention should be made to The Wicked ensemble and swings that includes Christian Ambesi, Conor Bann-Murray, Brittany Carter, Olivia Castagna, Eli Cooper, Matt Cranleigh, Joseph Donovan, Sage Douglas, Bayley John Edmends, Todd Jacobsson, Rohan Khanna, Andrew Kroenert, Elisha Zion Lee, Jordan Malone, Emily Monsma, Matilda Moran, Jackson Reedman, Amelia Sanzo, Edward Smith, Ksenia Teliatnikova, Lucas Van Rhijn, Jessica Vellucci, Mietta White and Jun Woodfield who all add to the singing, dancing and interactive nature of this live performance.

Another highlight is the music and lyrics from Stephen Schwartz that successfully adds to the story of these two witches and again, it’s easy to see why this has become an international sensation. Supporting the cast and ensemble is the excellent set design that really channels the Land of Oz with its interactive sets and lighting which changes to suit the scene, such as the green tinge of Emerald City, including thousands of fairy lights. Add in the monkeys with wings, a dragon and even Elphaba flying and this production creates this Hollywood movie vibe with its special effects which helps bring Wicked the Musical all together.

Final Thoughts?

This new Australian rendition of Wicked the Musical is thoroughly enjoyable and had the entire audience at the Regent Theatre captivated from the start to finish. With beautiful and enchanting songs and live music thanks to the orchestra, the two stars of this musical successfully bring their characters to life as we watch this relationship deteriorate in the magical Land of Oz. Sheridan Adams as Ephaba also delivers her standout performance that must be experienced.


Photos copyright Jeff Busby – used with permission

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