This particular review is of the October 14th performance of Wicked at the Aronoff in Cincinnati.
After the first song, I have to admit that I was worried about how the show would go. During “No One Mourns the Wicked,” Glinda stumbled on a line and got her dress stuck on her bubble. This resulted in some flinching from the audience and definitely lowered expectations for the rest of the show. Throughout the rest of the show, the microphones seemed to be a little low. It gave the impression that the cast was vocally tired. There was also a slight bump in the choreography during the dance at the Oz Dust Ballroom.
Despite these issues, the cast was really impressive. Glinda, played by Ginna Claire Mason, had superb acting chops. She had the audience laughing until they cried and her chemistry with Elphaba, played by Mary Kate Morrissey was electric. Mary-Kate was one of the actors that seemed to suffer the sound issues the most, but she proved her vocal abilities during “Defying Gravity” and blew everyone away. Jon Robert Hall also did wonderfully as Fiyero and perfectly portrayed the character arc and growth that his character goes through.
One actress that stood out was Isabel Keating as Madame Morrible. As someone who has seen Wicked many times, I was very impressed by Keating’s performance. She had great comedic timing and played the villain effortlessly. On the other hand, I found the performance of the Wizard, played by Tom McGowan, somewhat lacking. His portrayal was unexciting and unfortunately did nothing to draw in the audience’s attention.
Overall, the musical lived up to expectation. There were slight issues with both chreography and sound, but the main three actors and Madame Morrible kept the show afloat. The comedic timing was spot on and the sadness that came during For Good was fully appreciated by the audience. My personal favorite song, “As Long as You’re Mine” was carried through beautifully and I can honestly say that this performance of Wicked was very good.