A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
By Rebecca Glowgower
On January 18th, a new Broadway production flew into town. Through February 5th, the musical “Wicked” was at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. With “Wicked” being the hottest new show around, it was brought to Tampa, for the central Floridians to enjoy. And what was not to enjoy? “Wicked” was one show that would send you spiraling through a hurricane of emotions as The Wicked West of the East and Glinda the Good gave you their take on what was really going on in Oz. “Wicked” had it all, from elaborate sets and costumes to quirky and sometimes crazy characters, with the cast really fitting each roll. The audience loved Kendra Kassebaum, playing Glinda and her absolute airheaded, sometimes self-absorbed way of life. A girlie-girl Glinda was what we would expect to find when a person is constantly in her own world. Then you had Stephanie J. Block, playing Elphaba, who later became the Wicked Witch of the West. Block gave an absolutely phenomenal performance, demonstrating that the Wicked Witch of the West was actually a good person, but was construed as bad when her superiors convinced Oz of her wickedness. What is bigger than Elphaba and Glinda was their friendship throughout the production. Both Glinda and Elphaba underwent many serious changes throughout the entire show. Glinda went from seeming completely self-absorbed to being a young lady who could think for herself and finally figure out how to put her foot down to the bad people and munchkins running Oz. Elphaba discovered her sad truth–that she was limited and could not change the world in how she hoped. Instead, Elphaba handed over her book of spells to Glinda, her best and only friend in her life, to help her learn how to change Oz through magic and herself.
By the end of this production, the audience was breathless, yet able to jump quickly enough to give the entire cast a standing ovation which they all deserved. All the hard work the cast and crew put in along with the emotion that flew from each character could really be seen. It is too late to buy tickets, but do not worry your pretty little head, my dear, because, with a wave of Glinda the Good’s wand, the show will be back at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Be sure to look out for ticket information because the way these tickets just fly is wicked!