The national “Wicked” tour is currently on its ten day run at Milwaukee’s Marcus Center. “Wicked” has won over 100 national awards and continues to sell out venues. The wildly popular show continues to run in Milwaukee now through Sunday, November 15.
“Wicked” is the story of how Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, became “wicked.” It begins in the aftermath of Dorothy’s victory over the witch and how Glinda the Good recounts her history at school with Elphaba. What follows is a musical that twists and turns what you think you know about “The Wizard of Oz” and puts a brand new perspective on well-known characters while immersing the audience in jaw-dropping scenes and heart-pumping music.
While “Wicked” focuses on Elphaba and her transformation from a social outcast to a feared villain, it’s largely about her relationship with Glinda, and how two such polar opposites come to befriend each other. Oftentimes, the actresses portraying the two lead characters vie for who stole the show but, in this case, both actresses suited their roles so perfectly that they shared the limelight equally.
Both Alyssa Fox (as Elphaba) and Carrie St. Louis (as Glinda) have amazing, unfaltering voices and never break character. While Glinda provides a lot of comic relief and exhibits a more operatic vocal style, Elphaba appeals to the outcasts and underdogs while belting out powerful solos sure to leave you with goosebumps.
Each of these two roles can fit a certain mold after countless performances from countless actresses, but both Alyssa Fox and Carrie St. Louis bring something unique to their roles. Carrie St. Louis, while perky and bubbly, also brings a brash, straight-forward feel to Glinda and Alyssa Fox, while sarcastic and troubled, also brings a range in facial expressions as she embraces her role as the wicked witch, making for an unparalleled performance. While no one can compare to Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as Glinda and Elphaba in the original cast, there were moments when both leading ladies match (and arguably enhance) the original soundtrack, particularly during Fox’s rendition of “No Good Deed.”
One of the many great things about Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox’s portrayals of Glinda and Elphaba is that they turn fictional characters into real people that the audience can relate to or have known. While we can’t say that we know what it’s like to be green or struggle with our wand skills, “Wicked” is filled with relatable scenarios that hit audience members to the core from heartbreak to new friendships to empowerment.
The acting and plot pair with the scenery and costumes, making for a spectacular, immersive experience. While “Wicked” takes place in a fantasy land filled with witches, munchkins, and talking animals, fantasy becomes reality thanks to the smallest set details or the very last lyrics. This theatrical experience engulfs the audience, leaving them breathless, speechless, and ready to see “Wicked” again and again.
“Wicked” runs at The Marcus Center now through Sunday, November 15. Tickets are available online or by calling 414-273-7206.