A 12 year old and her Oma review the musical “Wicked”

My 12 year old niece and my mom saw Wicked for the first time last week and loved it (of course)! Here are their delightful reviews. Wicked plays The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle now through August 2nd.

Wicked review by Nara Deller, age 12: 

Before Dorothy, before Toto, when the tin man and the scarecrow were still human…

Wicked is the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good came to be. It’s about the witches of Oz, an unlikely friendship, and different paths you choose in life. The curtain draws you in with an amazing map of Oz. The amazing sets, brilliant costumes, and powerful music (songs like Popular, Defying Gravity, and For Good) set the stage for all the talented performers! Glinda (Alyssa Fox) was very funny, she got everyone laughing, and Elphaba (Carrie St. Louis) was outstanding in her emerald role.

Great cast. Powerful music. Loud. Amazing sets. Hilarious Dialogue.

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Wicked review by Jeanne Deller, Nara’s Oma:

Venturing about town on our way to Wicked at the Paramount Theatre, my granddaughter and I discovered multitudes of like-minded musical theatre aficionados thrilled to be welcoming this rollicking show back to Seattle.

This avant-garde, heart-warming portrayal of hard-won, most-unlikely friendships takes us to the Land of Oz, pre-Dorothy, with familiar characters peppered throughout. Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics bring wickedly funny and daring escapades to light in introducing villains and heroes alike.

Elphaba (Alyssa Fox) and Glinda (Carrie St.Louis) are outstanding in their respective roles as bad witch and good witch. Glinda’s over-the-top self-absorption keeps the crowd laughing – her character even more lively and animated than when the show began its blockbuster Broadway run 12 years ago.

Brilliant casting, superb staging, incredible costuming – all intermingled with high-flying monkeys and more. Wicked continues to impact audiences around the world in the most positive way – forever changing lives “For Good!” Grab your friends, significant other, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews (recommended for ages 8 and up) and join all those Seattleites out there who are basking in Wicked’s glow.  Choral numbers “Popular” and “For Good” are alone worth the price of admission. You have through August 2nd to catch this dynamite show and join in the rousing, standing ovation with the drop of the curtain on the final act.

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Buy your tickets to Wicked now (or learn about their day-of $25 ticket lottery).

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Photos by Joan Marcus.

Wicked & Book of Mormon coming to Seattle 2012/2013

Broadway at the Paramount announced their season tonight!

I’ve been meaning to see Wicked for years now and can’t wait for this October when it returns to town. Brandon and I have been talking about seeing this show together since we first started dating and are definitely getting tickets. It seems like every time it’s been in town we’ve had something come up – this is a show you will not want to wait to buy tickets for, as it is bound to sell out.  Another buy-as-soon-as-you-can show: The Book of Mormon. They wow’ed me with their number on the Tony Awards on TV (sweeping the Tony Awards itself didn’t hurt this show’s popularity, either) and I’ll be sure to get tickets as soon as they go on sale. In my previous job, I sometimes had to order tickets in New York for this production for VIPs and it was a HOT ticket – very hard to wrestle tickets for, so I’ll be sure to snag some as soon as single tickets go on sale.

Here’s a number from The Book of Mormon, I Believe:

UPDATE: Sent a Facebook message to Brandon down the hall – it’s decided, we’ll definitely be seeing these shows when they come to town.   I’m pretty interested in seeing Sister Act – might be a girls night out for that one. Maybe bring mom and dad?

What shows are you excited for? Who do you think has a more vibrant season, The Paramount or 5th Avenue Theatre?

5th Avenue Theatre to bring back some of the BEST Musicals for 12/13 Season

Two of my favorite musicals of all time, Jersey Boys & Memphis, are coming back to The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle!  Having worked at The 5th for 8+ years, I’ve seen a lot of shows, and these two are ones that are HUGE crowd pleasers that are not to be missed.

While The 5th isn’t presenting a brand new musical as they usually do (Memphis played The 5th Avenue before it became a major hit on Broadway), the 12/13 season is full of fun. They’re also bringing Elf, The Addams Family and The Music Man.

Other shows include Grey Gardens (in partnership with ACT Theatre) and Pirates of Penzance.  The latter is billed in The 5th’s email newsletter as “One of the most popular musicals of all time.” I’m personally not a Gilbert & Sullivan fan, but classic musical lovers will be drawn to this show, I expect.  And my fella is excited to check it out, if only because it’s one of the classics he’s never seen. “Isn’t that ‘Modern Major General’ song from that show?” He asked me tonight. Turns out, yes. “Hoarders meet the Hamptons” in  Grey Gardens – casting will be everything in this intimate production…excited to hear more news about it in the coming months.  Tempted to watch the Drew Barrymore version of the movie soon to check out the show.

Jersey Boys is electrifying and full of musical fun with the story and music of Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons.  It’s a great show to take your date, best friend or mom to.  Generations of people love this show and one can only hope we’ll see Seattle actor Jason Kappus in the role of Bob Gaudio for this production.

The Music Man is a movie that evokes fond memories of childhood for me – who wouldn’t fall in love with this story and music.  The 5th Avenue’s orchestra is always fantastic and I can’t wait to hear them “trombone” away. I have a feeling this will be one of those productions where people walk away knowing that was the best production of The Music Man they will ever see.

Elf takes the stage for Nov 30 – Dec 31 – I haven’t heard much about this production but I’m glad to see the Seattle arts world will be gifted with a unique option for the holidays. As with most movies where the lead is so iconic to watchers (Gene Kelly in White Christmas, Tim Curry in Rocky Horror), the biggest challenge of this show is in the casting/directing and of course performance of the main character – Will Ferrell has some big pointy shoes to fill!

What can I say about Memphis? Not enough. The story alone is riveting and inspiring. Add in the incredible score and dancing that makes the audience jump out of their seats to dance in the aisles at curtain call, and you’ve got one of the best musicals ever made.  I’ve seen this production multiple times and applaud The 5th for bringing it back to the theatre so soon – audiences who missed it before Broadway will be in for a treat, while the rest of us will feel like we’ve reconnected with old friends when the beloved (and rockin‘) characters take the stage.

Above all, don’t miss Memphis and Jersey Boys. If you saw them before, you probably won’t be hesitating to buy your tickets for a second time.  These shows must be seen live for the full experience – the dancing, music and stories of each will be some of the best theatre you will see in Seattle all year.  I may just have to relearn a little bit of the Jersey Boys choreography again soon.

Have you seen any of these shows, at The 5th or elsewhere?  I’d love to hear your thoughts! What shows in particular are you most excited for?

Season tickets and more information, here.

Tonight, The 5th Avenue hosted a twitter chat during their season announcement party – check out hashtag #5th1213 to check it out! Kudos to Chris Marcacci at 5th Avenue Theatre for his hard work – they trended on Twitter in Seattle!