Advance Tickets Recommended
Jackie Burns, Chandra Lee Schwartz, Kyle Dean Massey, Randy Danson, Adam Grupper, Etai BenShlomo, Jenny Fellner and Tom Flynn
1 at 50th St.; C, E at 50th St.
||Tue-Wed, 7pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm; Wed, Sat, 2pm; Sun, 3pm|
Based on a novel by Gregory Maguire, with a book by Winnie Holzman, this is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and Oz, these days, bodes ill. This is the story of two young women, Glinda and Elphaba, who become, respectively, the Good Witch of the East and the Wicked Witch of the West. These girls from Oz, despite falling for the same guy and various other contretemps, never quite ceased to be friends from sorcery school on, through many adventures considerably more interesting to themselves than to us. This is also the backstory of how the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow became such, though the Scarecrow’s fate here does not mesh with his subsequent story. Never mind that, what of a score by Stephen Schwartz, who has clearly lost it? Only one song, “Wonderful,” has a memorable tune, and even that rather trite. The lyrics might as well be spoken rather than sung, except that then we could make out the words, which have at best intermittent sparkle. So maybe the aggressive orchestra is performing a charitable act, and what we are supposed to focus on is really the décor by Eugene Lee, and the somewhat hit-or-miss costumes of Susan Hilferty. The scenery certainly stars. It stretches into the auditorium, with a fire-breathing dragon atop the proscenium arch, and winged monkeys flying over our heads.