Wicked Opens at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

I know what you’re thinking: Between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Wicked has gotten quite a bit of play in South Florida over the years. What makes this production, now playing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, any different than the countless versions you’ve already seen? it’s easy to overlook such shows when theaters are teasing season lineups with the likes of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. But with a touring production as good as this one, the truth remains the same: Wicked is worth your time.

A trip to Oz through an entirely different lens than that of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, a talented and misunderstood student who is shunned because of her unusual emerald green skin, and Glinda, the blonde, bubbly and ultra-popular Queen Bee of Shiz University. They’re rivals at first sight – until that rivalry turns into the most unexpected and powerful of friendships. This is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, and all that transpired before Dorothy ever even made it into the picture.

Mary Kate Morrissey and Ginna Claire Mason play Elphaba and Glinda respectively, and they carry the entire production on their shoulders. Together, they hit every note with razor-like precision – and if you’ve ever listened to the Wicked soundtrack, then you know those notes are as high as they get. Morrissey is an absolute standout as the fiercely protective and passionate Elphaba. Her rendition of “No Good Deed” is particularly powerful, and she nails the show’s beloved signature song “Defying Gravity,” which takes the air out of your lungs right before intermission. But perhaps the most enjoyable number of the night belongs to Ms. Mason, who performs the cheeky fan favorite “Popular” with such perfect comedic timing and ditzy charm that you instantly fall in love with her.

In the end, Wicked proves to have only gotten better with age. Amidst the current political climate, this is a show that reveals itself to be so of-the-moment that it’s worth seeing as a reminder of the importance to speak truth to power. And it doesn’t hurt that such a timely and important message comes along with such an irresistible score.

Wicked is now playing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale until March 4. For more information and tickets, click here.

Photos by Joan Marcus
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