Wicked Production Entertains Little Rock Crowds


Wicked. Critically-acclaimed, off Broadway, and in Little Rock. 

Wicked is the spinoff story of the popular production, Wizard of Oz. The play is considered the untold true story of the Witches of Oz. Wicked played at the Robinson Performance Hall downtown until Jan. 19th. During these 19 days, Robinson housed a record 24 performances. 

The play had outstanding vocals, incredible visuals, vivacious costumes and a great orchestra. The storyline starts with Glinda the Good (Allison Bailey) flashing back to her youth and friendship with Elphaba (Talia Suskauer), the witch with an unfortunate reputation and an unfortunate green appearance. Glinda is the good, prosperous witch of Emerald City with a bubbly personality- one not to be associated with Elphaba- even though back in their school days, the two were best friends.

Act I consists of 11 songs, beginning with “No One Mourns the Wicked,” just a little emphasis on the truly wicked persona of Elphaba. The next song is set while Elphaba and Glinda are in one of their classes at school when “Dear Old Shiz” is sung. The song dedicated to Dr. Dillamond, the talking goat teacher that is banished because of the strong ideals he teaches to his students. 

This situation lights a passion for Elphaba with animals, which also hurts her in the long run. Her strong feelings cause her to unleash her magical powers, catching the attention of Madame Morrible, who then insists Elphaba  meet with The Wizard of Oz, the almighty and most powerful wizard in Emerald City.

The play has very dramatic but also very mellow songs, all sung by extremely talented people. Each scene is thoughtfully laid out and easy for an audience to follow. With colorful costumes, all detailed and beautifully created, it keeps the audience interested.

Fiyero, a troublemaking man comes to the University of Shiz, and immediately catches the attention of Glinda, where she finds a way to go to the school dance with Fiyero. Glinda gives an unwanted hat to Elphaba, for she swears that it is the ugliest hat she has ever seen, but Elphaba sees it as an act of kindness. With light humor and Wizard of Oz references sprinkled throughout the play, Elphaba is made fun of at the dance because of her skills, but Glinda starts to join her in a dance number.

Glinda, with a Barbie doll-like persona, goes through multiple different costume changes, one of the most noticeable being her bedazzled blue ball gown. After the dance, Glinda begs to recreate Elphaba’s visual, one that will send her higher up in the social pyramid, expressed through the song “Popular.” As the two become closer as companions, Elphaba invites Glinda to come with her to Emerald City to meet the Wizard.

Elphaba comes into the possession of the spell book, a book that only someone of her powers can use. After being extremely disappointed in the fraud of the Wizard, Elphaba becomes frazzled and runs with the book and the knowledge that the Wizard could never let his people of Oz know. Elphaba sets a spell on a broomstick that grants her flight, and the public now see her as a fugitive, wicked. The act ends with Elphaba  levitating in the air with intense strobe lights and loud orchestra, a very dramatic scene to transition to intermission. 

Act II is when Elphaba is running away from the guards, Glinda is taking credit as a good witch (because she has a wand), and Fiyero, Glinda’s fiancé, searches for Elphaba. Plot twist, Fiyero actually chooses the girl that he likes based off of personality.

With the newfound and ugly reputation that Elphaba is now aware that she has, she means no harm, and all she wants to do is to turn the monkeys of Oz back to normal, turn them into monkeys that cannot fly.

Elphaba and Fiyero show intimacy towards each other, and eventually she goes back to Oz, unseen and unwanted to see her sister, Nessarose. She sets a spell on her sister’s shoes that allows her to walk on her own for the first time in her life! However, Nessa becomes angry and calls the guards on Elphaba, leaving her no choice but to flee again.

In one of the final scenes of the play, Elphaba comes to the realization that things will never go back to the way they once were, the two separate and sing “For Good,” signifying their split as best friends. Glinda will never forget Elphaba, she has all the power in Oz and Elphaba is just the wicked soul of the city.

The production was one to remember. As a member of the audience, one would definitely appreciate all the hard work, time, and effort that was put into such a great production.