Having just celebrated 10 positively emerald years on London’s West End, Wicked returns to Singapore with an all-new international cast to a standing ovation on their Gala Premiere. Everyone from stage and screen actor Hossan Leong (all dressed in theme, if I must add) to the young children dressed to the nines, joined in the chorus of applause every time the magical leading ladies – Carly Anderson and Jacqueline Hughes – belted out the powerful tunes we’ve come to know and love Wicked for.
Oh, so enamoured I was by Jacqueline’s performance as Elphaba that I caught myself tearing up to every pivotal moment. All of which, only shown brighter with the insane chemistry between her and Galinda (the ga is silent) a.k.a. Carly. The biggest moment has got to be “Defying Gravity”. Goosebumps, instantly. Not only do we finally realise that everything is not what it seems in the wonderful, wonderful world of Oz, but we also see Elphaba use her powers for what she truly believes in. A moment which was defined – and enthralled audiences – by the magnificent spectacle of Jacqueline floating mid-air. Her voice, the iconic song and the drama, it was a marvel I would pay to see over and over again.
And, Carly. She took my breath away when she first appeared in her bubble and in a dress Barbie could only dream of. A marvel of beauty, second only to her falsettos in “No One Mourns The Wicked”. Her reprise of “I’m Not That Girl” broke my heart through and through, while “Popular” got everyone rolling in laughter. How truly blessed we are to have Carly and Jacqueline in this rendition of Wicked!
Central to the plot, we cannot forget the love interest, Fiyero. Played by Bradley Jayden, his duet with Jacqueline “As Long As You’re Mine” was so tender, so heartwarming. More than just belting out the beautiful tune, it was the delicate way they portrayed their yearning for each other that really took it home. It made all the tears from “I’m Not That Girl” worth it.
I could go on and on about each and every cast member. Each had their stand out moments, and all stood together to deliver the best show they could tonight. But, we need to talk about the costumes. The intricate yet lavish wardrobe designed by Susan Hilferty warrants an entire page of my awe and jealousy. Elphaba’s final dress, all decked out in luscious lace and a menacing cape, Glinda’s many princess-like transformations to Madame Morrible’s (played by Kim Ismay) stunning emerald train were simply exquisite. Even Boq’s eventual transmogrification into the Tin Man had me amazed!
Still, the songs and dresses aside, it is the story and characters that have won this long-standing hits its legion of fans and Grammys. There’s a bit of Elphaba in us, perhaps a touch of Glinda or even some resemblance in the mysterious Wizard of Oz. There is no good or evil, but patches of grey where good intentions can go terribly wrong, and bad intentions can go only worse (even if you didn’t want to). Wicked may be dressed up in the wonders of Emerald City, but it stays true to what’s inside all of us – wanting to make good, wanting to have a true friend.
Ultimately, Wicked is an incredible story of acceptance, friendship and empowerment. It is a story about it doesn’t matter how different you are, you can be accepted; you can be loved; and you can have your whatever you heart desires (as long as it is “for good”).
Wicked will be playing at MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands from 29 September to 16 October 2016. Tickets are priced at S$55 (with additional booking fee of S$4/ticket) and is available at www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing or www.sistic.com.sg.