“No one mourns the wicked,” sang the residents of Oz as the blockbuster musical opened its four-week run at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center. In truth, everyone loves the Wicked: This is the third long visit to our city for a show that’s had more than 3,300 performances on Broadway since 2003. Stephen Schwartz’s Wizard of Oz-inspired musical about the green witch has become a cultural icon for adolescent girls who yearn for freedom and success. Thousands, with or without their families, will flock downtown between now and Thanksgiving weekend, and they won’t be disappointed.
Mamie Parris portrays Elphaba as a character with depth and emotion. We feel her embarrassment, we resonate with her yearning to overcome obstacles, we suffer from her social ostracism and we sense her desire for both justice and acceptance.
What’s more, we love her songs, especially the sorrowful “I’m Not That Girl” and even more her anthemic “Defying Gravity."
Wicked, presented by Broadway Across America, continues at the Aronoff Center through Nov. 26. Go here to read Rick Pender's full review.