Show Reviews

The following review was submitted by a user of the AIMS website. This review reflects the opinions of the reviewer and not those of AIMS.

Show: Wicked
Society / Company: BGET
Venue: BGET
Ticket Price: 65.00
Reviewer: Vinny Osborne
Date Attended: 18/01/2014
Overall:
Direction:
Musical Direction:
Orchestra:
Choreography:
Principal Acting:
Principal Singing:
Chorus Acting:
Chorus Singing:
Stage Management:
Lighting:
Sound:
Sets:
Costumes:
Make-up:

General Comments

Very hard to write this one as Wicked is up there as one of my favourite shows of all time.

It was great to see a touring show that had all the bells & whistles of its Broadway & West end counterparts.  Full Set, LX, Costumes etc were all on display.  Visually there can be no fault.  The lighting, costume & set design are by far one of the best to be witnessed on a stage.  One thing I did notice was the use of follow spots as key light on principals.  This worked 99% of the time, with the odd shadow here & there that didn’t.  I loved the Wicked policy of mixing the ensemble up into all shapes & sizes.  We weren’t lead to believe everyone is Oz is a Size 8 & the fact that you don't need to be a stick insect to be a dancer.  The ensemble was remarkably small. Id make a guess that the entire company numbered no more than 30.  

Vocally the ensemble were very strong, did they get some technological support? I’m not quite sure.  But in remembering that there were all trained professionals makes me believe maybe not!

Principal Wise it was a mixed bag.  Glinda was very good, she was very tall which worked great with Fiyero, but she towered over Elphaba which kind of took away from her gaining power in act 2.  Glinda was the better of the 2 witches in my opinion.  Elphaba lacked the power vocally to sustain the bigger numbers.  She certainly wasn’t bad, just not brilliant.  Fiyero was certainlly bad.  Bad is being nice.  He had no stage presence & missed the plot completely.  Nessa was great; I liked her although others in my party did not.  Morrible & the Wizard were great.  

I did have a major problem AGAIN ( Lion King also ), with the very strong English accents.  I mean its an American show.  The Sound Track is American, the Movie it’s based on is American.  This is not a racist comment is any way shape or form.  They almost seemed to be accentuating the accent too.  I could put up with Glinda, but the rest, no way.  The Wizard was fairly neutral & Boq was Scottish which worked well.  I know if an AIMS society is doing an American show, they try the accent, I’ve never even heard a Wizard of Oz, Seussical or a Honk done in an Irish accent.

Now I know 99% of people reading this know what I do for a living, I’m a sound Guy for those of you who don’t.  I had a MAJOR problem with the Sound of this show.  I am quite capable of leaving my job hat at home & go to a show & enjoy myself.  I do it regularly.  But not this time!  I had been warned by friends that the “Sound isn’t Great”.  But holy crap it was terrible.  The Grand Canal seems to have got a bad reputation on being a bad sounding room.  I can tell you it is not. This had nothing to do with the Gear Wicked brought in, it had to do with an ever increasing policy of “Lets keep it Quiet” so not to offend anyone over the age of 60.  “Lets try & make the vocal sound like its natural & coming off the stage” All very admirable ideas if it works! It didn’t.
I purchased the prime seats in the prime location, dead centre just on front of the balcony.  I struggled to hear the vocals.  Dialogue was just about audible, but in songs; forget it.  I could hear people singing, but as regards to what they were saying, No Idea!  In fairness there were moments were is was OK, but it was never as good as the Lighting, Set & other technical’s in this show. It wasn’t just me either. I met friends from Clane, Malahide & HXT societies & all had the same complaint.

I love the show so much, I still had a great night.  I was hoping for the Broadway perfection I had witnessed twice before.  But it wasn’t.

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