The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Play tells story about magical lives of wicked witches before Dorothy

Enchanting, bewitching and amusing are just several words that only begin to describe “Wicked,” the smash hit Broadway musical that’s been playing in Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre since February 2007.

Based on the novel, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Macguire, the musical transports the audience to the Land of Oz before Dorothy and Toto’s crash landing.

It was a time when effervescent and popular Glinda (Erin Mackey) and brooding and misunderstood Elphaba (Teal Wicks) are young. They experience the trials and tribulations of growing up in a land where magic and witchcraft are as common as talking animals.

“Wicked,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Pippin” and Academy Award-winner “Pocahontas”) and directed by Joe Mantello (2003-2004 Tony Award winner), grabs the audience from the very beginning and takes them along on a “thrillifying” magical ride that never slows down until the curtain goes down.

From the very beginning, the audience is treated to a spectacular stage, sparkling costumes and top-notch performances by all cast members, including the well-known Jo Anne Worley (Madam Morible) and John Rubinstein (The Wizard).

In her opening song, “No One Mourns the Wicked,” Mackey shows how much power she has in her voice by singing above the chorus.

Not to be outdone, Wicks treats the audience to her electrifying voice in “Defying Gravity,” in which she brings out a throaty sound that leaves the audience spell-bound and with something to discuss during intermission.

In nearly every story, there is a love interest, and “Wicked” does not disappoint.

Fiero, played by Derrick Williams, is good looking and conceited. The character easily wins the heart of both girls who have gone from school foes, to miserable and mismatched roommates, to friends.

The storyline, with plenty of humor and life’s lessons, which are even applicable in Oz, have several twists and turns along the way. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, always riveted, the audience’s applause grows louder and longer with each song until the curtain finally closes on the Emerald City.

Though the curtain closed after the performance, it is not over for many people who have already seen the music multiple times and plan to do so again before it leaves Los Angeles.

“Wicked” will play at the Pantages Theatre until Jan. 11, 2009. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or through Ticketmaster.

A day-of-peformance lottery for a limited number of $25 front orchestra seats is held daily for people who arrive at the box office two and a half hours before show time. Thirty minutes later, the names are drawn for the cash-only tickets.

Go to, to learn more about a 40 percent discount that is available to university students through the end of June. You’ll find the link on the Los Angeles pages under “Educators.”

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