Febuary in Review: Feeling Wicked

Posted on March 7, 2014

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By Jenny Bitzer and Mary Kate Patterson

wicked1We finally reached our seats, legs burning and out of breath. We had been climbing up flight after flight of stairs, winding our way up to the highest balcony level. Our seats would be described by anyone as “the nosebleeds”. However, when we finally made it, we were in awe at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre. The Grand theatre was restored in 1928 to be the Orpheum Theatre we see today. The attention to detail in the decorations and architecture make this by far the most beautiful room we have ever stepped foot in. As we looked down from our seats we were amazed by the set that was before us. The use of beautiful emerald colors along with the infamous moving dragon atop the stage made for a spectacular set for the start of Wicked.

For those of you who have never seen the play, it can be most easily described as the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. The untold story of the witches of Oz follows two unlikely friends, Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West as they attend Chiz, complete with sorcery classes of course. At first, they despise one another, and being forced to room together only augments the problem. Glinda’s perky and happy personality drives the surly and introverted Elphaba crazy. Soon, however, the two become the best of friends. Wicked’s story ends where the Wizard of Oz’s story picks up, making the two shows seamless and entertaining. Interestingly, even with the continuous nature of the two stories, the two offer very different perspectives from one another on almost every single character.

The music was astounding and grabbled the attention of everyone in theatre. There is no question about the caliber of talent present that night on The Orpheum’s historic stage. Jennifer DiNoia who played Elphaba in the show rivaled Idina Menzel, Elphaba in the original NYC Broadway cast, in vocals. The amazing sets complete with the intricate costumes and bright colors next to the talented actors and beautiful music made this experience one to remember. Seeing Wicked was made even more special when set against the stunning background of the Orpheum, traditionally known as the “South’s finest theatre”. Every Memphian should attend a show at the Orpheum if only for the experience of seeing a production take place in such an amazing and historic room.

Interested in attending a show at the Orpheum? Check out the website for upcoming shows here: http://www.orpheum-memphis.com/events. Make it a date or fun night out with friends by grabbing dinner and drinks beforehand at Majestic Grille or Bluefin, both within walking distance from the Orpheum Theatre on Main Street.

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Posted in: Lifestyle