REVIEW: Wicked

Wicked, the musical exploration of friendship and rivalry in the land of Oz, premiered 19 years ago, but still manages to bring tears to my eyes every time I hear the final crescendo of Defying Gravity. The magical spark that creator Steven Schwartz captured in Gregory Maguire’s retelling of the 120-year-old tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz lives on through the remarkable staying power of this incredibly popular (wink) show.  National tours of Wicked simply cannot disappoint. I struggle to find particular things to praise or critique, as my high expectations for this show continue to be met time after time. The fact that I have nothing to critique says it all.
I’ve seen Wicked a handful of times and, for good (wink wink) or otherwise, the production hasn’t changed since the last tour.  If you’ve seen it before, you will know what to expect (other than the absolutely frigid theater – bring layers!).  Although there were no surprises for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience in part because I took a young new fan to see the show.
The untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West puts a modern spin on the world of Oz, with themes of discrimination, bias, rising authoritarianism, and injustice that seems as relevant today as ever.  The fantasy world of Wicked is a fantastic way to open a path for older children or teens to explore and discuss these themes that continue to resonate in the news.  But even if you could care less about the the allegorical juxtaposition of the definitions of Good or Evil, go see it (again, and again, and again) for its fantastic story and wonderful music. Thank goodness for Wicked!!
Wicked is at The Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis through August 28, 2022. Tickets start at $54.
DEAL ALERT: In-person student and educator rush available for all performances of Wicked:
• $40 per ticket — CASH ONLY
• The Orpheum Theatre Box Office will start selling in person at 2 hours prior to curtain
• Students/educators may purchase up to 2 tickets per valid school ID
• Subject to availability