Best Musical (2006)


In this day and age of musicals that have little to do with artistic expression and everything to do with making buckets of dough, it's wonderfully refreshing to discover a song-filled night of theater that actually asks us to think. Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's Wicked, which ran last fall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, is that all too-rare musical that explores complex issues such as moral ambiguity even as it makes us laugh and cry at its delicious characters. Those characters include the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, whose motivations are explored as the imaginative plot slips elegantly across the witches' past, a history that includes their prep school days, where they learned all that magic.


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