Friday, 28 May 2010

Dan's Review

Wicked - 27/05/10

I thought I'd do a review as well, as I did enjoy reading other peoples.

My friend Amy had offered to take me to see Wicked as a birthday treat!
Of course I'd been wanting to go to see Rachel for a LONG time, but
I felt like I wanted to give her a few months to really get into the part.

I'd heard a few audios on youtube and had very high hopes.

We'd gotten our tickets from ticketmaster the day before,
and they were right at the left edge of the 2nd row, which has
quite an obstructed view, but for the price and closeness to the stage (and Rachel)
it was definitely fine!!

I had a shock when I came into the theatre as I saw 'Sarah Earnshaw' at the top of
the Cast list - I knew she was an understudy but I thought Elphie would be at the top...
Luckily it was for Glinda.... shame really as I would like to see Louise having heard so much about her.
It also wasn't George Ure as Boq, who I'd seen in the backstage videos. :(

As the first act started, I had serious butterflies in my stomach, I had
seen Rachel in We will Rock You, but Elphaba is my favourite role in
any musical so to see them together was almost a dream come true!

The chorus were fantastic at the opening number, as the time I saw it before,
I didn't understand a lot of what they were singing, but they really annunciated
everything. Sarah Earnshaw is a great Glinda, more in the style of Dianne Pilkington,
who is my favourite, so I didn't mind her at all! - great voice... although the high notes
sounded a little odd as she sung them straight, without any vibrato, which i'm used to hearing.

The butterflies came back, when it was getting nearer to Rachels entrance.
She entered and completely commanded the stage...ok well she is the only green one!
Her English accent is spot on.... although if I had to critique her, some of the phrasing
at the beginning sounded a little strange... and I noticed later that she said
TOO-gether... rather than t'gether which also sounded odd.
Anyway, the lead up to Wizard & I, I was so excited to hear Rachel singing wicked!!

She didn't disappoint, using humour and her acting to enhance the song, I truly think Rachel
is unstoppable when she's singing and acting at the same time! She was pitch perfect throughout
the whole song and the audience gave her a rightfully rapturous applause!

The understudy for Boq was far too tall to play that character, and a lot of the kinda physical
comedy of it didn't really work. - this guy was at least 5 foot 10.

Lee Mead came on and I was immediately struck by how light his hair is... I thought it was dark,
but maybe he's spent too long in the sun, as it was almost light brown. His acting and singing however
were amazing! He brought a lot of comedy to the role and seemed to reach the high notes with ease.

It soon came time for Defying Gravity! A definite highlight for the first act.
Sitting so far to the left, we had a strange view really, as the side lights lit up the
amount of saliva coming out of the actors mouths... which seemed to be surprisingly frequent.
One such occurence was from Sarah Earnshaw when she shouted "STOP!!!!" to Rachel casting a
levitation spell, and there was still some saliva hanging from her mouth! - mildly amusing! ;)
Anyway, the singing was INCREDIBLE!!! absolutely spot on. Rachel really excells when she gets
to belt out the high notes, so Wicked is the perfect fit for her!
There was one point, during the song, where Rachel sung "I can't want it... anymore".
For the "Anymore", she looked right at me and walked towards me!
- REALLY took my breath away!

The applause after this song
was very loud and went on for a good 30 seconds or more.

The interval was buzzing with people saying how good Rachel is, I heard lots of compliments
from people as I made my way to the bathroom, which made me smile.

Anyway time for the second act.

I think this is the more intense half of the show, where Rachel really gets to show her
incredible acting skills. During 'As Long as you're mine', she really made me listen to
the words of this song, which i hadn't really before. Rachel and Lee as a couple (on stage)
just took your whole attention, at one point I felt almost like I was on the stage with them.
They REALLY work well together and have a great chemistry on stage.

Rachel's acting also almost mesmerised me when Nessa Rose tells her her father is dead,
the emotion in her acting, like a 'devastration' really hit me.

It eventually got up to the moment I had been waiting for....
Rachel singing No Good Deed.
It has been my favourite song from Wicked and I just knew that Rachel would knock it out the park.
I couldn't have asked for more... she was so intense, so emotional, so....FIERCE!!!
She even had a few angry tears she had to wipe away during the performance.
The audience response was incredible, I looked around to see many with open mouths
and seriously shocked impressed looks on their faces.
The vocals were absolutely perfect throughout, especially on the high belted notes.
it's hard to believe that she could improve on this performance, but knowing that
it's Rachel, i'm sure she can weave even more magic into it!

All in all it was one hell of a performance
and everyone around were amazing and enthralled by Rachel's fantastic performance.

She's definitely the best Elphie vocally that I've ever heard.
For the comic timing and acting, I do have to admit that Cassidy Janson does have the edge ever so slightly,
but then I'd say she was more of an actress than a singer... she's currently doing very well as
Kate Monster in Avenue Q.

If you've not seen Rachel yet, DO IT!
- no matter what the cost, she is worth it!!! :)


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you've said, Rachel is stunning in the part. I'd not seen Wicked before, and went because I'm a huge Lee Mead fan, but although he was brilliant, Rachel just blew me away!

stevie said...

Hi, I loved your review. I've only seen the show twice with Rachel in it and I think she is absolutely fantastic. I love her DG and No Good Deed, but my favourite part is the duet with Fiyero, Lee and Rachel are so amazing together.

Victoria Maginnis said...

I agree with everything you've said except for a few things. I actually prefer Danny Mac (Boq Understudy) as he's the only actor who has made me feel what I'm supposed to feel about the character - sorry for him. Rachel is superb obviously, but I have heard many mixed reviews about Lee Mead! I haven't seen him yet - but tbh, I'll always be biased towards Oliver Tompsett! Can't wait to see Sarah Earnshaw (Glinda standby) again as she just goes NUTS when she's on stage :)

Dan said...

I do agree with you about Oliver, he was my first Fiyero, and outstanding vocal runs! - and buns ;)

Lee was good though, better than I thought he would be.

Danny Mac was ok... acting wise he is good, but he's meant to be a munchkin... it doesnt work with a tall guy no matter how good he may be. I think George would be able to make you feel sorry for him, as he's such a likable guy anyway.