Wicked - The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz
17/08/2023 - 03/09/2023
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Winnie Holzman
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire
Orchestrations by William David Brohn
Music Arrangements Alex Lacamoire & Stephen Oremus
DIRECTOR Grant Meese
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Kate Marshall
CHOREOGRAPHER Leigh Evans
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Sandy Brewer
PRODUCERS Capital Theatre Trust & G & T Productions Ltd
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia).
WICKED tells the story of what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle.
Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, who is smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good”, and the other one “wicked”.
Wicked has won over 100 international awards and will celebrate 20 fabulous years with a landing in Wellington for the first time.
St James Theatre, Wellington
17 August – 3 September 2023
Set, props and costumes provided by NZ Musical Theatre Consortium (Wicked)
Costume Construction: Diane Brodie QSM, Stephen Robertson
LIGHTING DESIGNER Martin Searancke
SOUND DESIGNER Glen Ruske, BounceNZ
Elphaba Heather Wilcock
Glinda Maya Handa Naff
Elphaba Alternate Lane Corby
Glinda Alternate Gemma Hoskins
Fiyero Nick Lerew
Fiyero Alternate Henry Ashby
Madame Morrible Frankie Leota
The Wizard David Hoskins
Nessarose Anna Smith
Dr Dillamond Ben Emerson
Chistery/Ensemble Medhi Angot Horsfall
Ensemble/ Witches Father Bryce Blackmore
Ensemble/ Chistery understudy MayLee Burrows
Ensemble/ Shen Shen Allegra Canton
Ensemble Adele Child
Ensemble Bridget Connor
Ensemble Tessa Deacle
Ensemble Joshua Franken
Ensemble/ Madame Morrible understudy Gayle Hammersley
Ensemble Chris Haywood
Ensemble Millie Ireland-Spicer
Ensemble Maxine Kemp
Ensemble/ Witches Mother Sheree Latimer
Ensemble Rachel Leask
Ensemble/ Pfhaee Anika Leamy-Hayes
Ensemble Jason Mackiewicz
Ensemble Holly Main-Grant
Ensemble/ Salesman Corey Moir
Ensemble Finlay Morris
Ensemble / Boq understudy Adam Nachowitz
Ensemble/ Nessarose understudy Megan Neill
Ensemble Molly O’Hagen
Ensemble Raureti Ormond
Ensemble Lisa Philipsen
Ensemble/ The Wizard understudy Ben Priest
Ensemble RV Quijano
Ensemble Catelin Riordan
Ensemble Conall Sims
Ensemble Oliver Smyth
Musical , Theatre ,
2 hours and 50 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission.
Heart-warming story comes to life with stunning character performances
Review by Talia Carlisle 19th Aug 2023
A glittering tale of two unlikely magical friends has flown into St James Theatre for a muggle-packed green carpet launch that left this Wellington audience soaring high.
Wicked’s Tony award-winning prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz stories centres around a magical friendship that started long before a girl in braids trailed the famous yellow brick road to Oz, as seen in the iconic movie adaption of the same name.
Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s original books, Wicked tells the story of two witches’ journey to the Emerald City and another intriguing destination – adulthood – where their friendship, love-lives and ethical choices test their wits along the way.
This stunning production by Capital Theatre Trust and G & T Productions is as ambitious as its characters, with a cast and crew of 100 needed to pull off the onstage and behind the scenes magic at the also magical venue of St James Theatre we are lucky to call home.
Elphaba and Galinda battle their teenage and worldly crises together, faced with looming darkness and suspicious characters leering around every corner. Do not fear for there are plenty of loveable characters to steer us right, with heart-stealer Nick Lerew as Fiyero, and the “beautifully tragic” Nessarose played by Anna Smith. Don’t forget the famous Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow sneak a peak in – and the dynamic flying monkeys of course, choreographed by Wellington’s own talented Leigh Evans.
I am enchanted by this brilliant collaboration by director Grant Meese, Musical Director Kate Marshall, Evans and all of the massive team involved. I’m especially thrilled to see this heart-warming story come to life with stunning character performances by all the cast.
Heather Wilcock’s Elphaba is technically flawless, having performed the role twice previously in Christchurch and Auckland; she delivers all the heart and comedy we could desire. Heather’s harmonies and chemistry collude with all the characters and music onstage, as Elphaba braves the dangers that threaten her friends and the future of Oz.
Maya Handa Naff has so much fun pouncing around onstage in pink and sequins as Elphaba’s perky roommate Galinda that the audience can’t help but join in the fun. Every detail of Galinda‘s transformation to Glinda the Good, through body, voice, choreography and meticulously placed curls are noticeably impressive and stunning.
Watching diligently over Oz is our majestic and soulful Madame Morrible, played by Frankie Leota who, with an angelic voice, nurtures and guides the students of Shiz University towards her vision of what Oz should be.
Oz’s most celebrated Wizard, played by David Hoskins, has as much charm and wavy hair as a celebrity wizard could wish for, and I’m distracted in every scene of his by the beautiful wig work of wigs manager Amy McLennan and deputy Abi Johnson, who win against some fast turnarounds, and even gravity in the show.
Kevin Orlando steals the spotlight magnificently as heart-strewn Munchkin Boq – loyal, loving and always in suitably eye catching shiny costumes, complete with his heart on his sleeve.
It’s such a joy to watch Ben Emerson’s magical embodiment of Doctor Dillamond, played with heart, humour, and kindness. This is such a beautiful theme in the show that inspires us all to look out for one another, and step up when life demands it. Good teachers are more valuable than Oz gold and Doctor Dillamond quickly wins us over as our teacher we choose to fight for.
Whether you’re there for the magic, your favourite character, or the stirring Orchestra music with our favourite songs – including ‘Defying Gravity’, ‘Popular’, and ‘The Wizard and I’ to name a few – you will love and breathe in this show at a time when divisiveness is always present in the world.
I hope Wicked – The Untold Story of The Witches of Oz always finds its way home to Wellington, and with over 100 international awards under its show belt and performances around the world, it still deserves more. I’ll be humming every song for weeks to come, and will be back to see the show next week.
See you there witches!
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