Who could have imagined a novel written in 1900 could have developed into such a wonderful story. The wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was adapted to a movie The Wizard of Oz to be followed by a spin off, WICKED, the musical from the book by Winnie Holzman with Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Staging a show of this magnitude and with such a large cast is no mean feat and MBPAS achieved a performance that surpassed all my expectations. Trent Baker’s direction was faultless and music from the musical Director, Peta Davis and her assistance and conductor Jack Love was outstanding. The orchestra were under the stage and the co-ordination with the actors must have been by televised link although this was not visible so I can only guess how they managed.
The story revolves around the two witches, Elphaba (the wicked witch of the west) and her unlikely friend Glinda (the good witch). Katelin Kneebone played Glinda and her comedic actions, overstated gestures and the fact she could sing made it impossible not to like her performance, she was in fact magnificent.
Elphaba was played by Emma Love who played the perfect partner to Katelin. Emma’s solo near the start of the show was a show stopper that set the high standard for the rest of the singers.
The other outstanding singers were Breigh Angove as Nessa Rose and Ronald Mafara as Boq. It would have been nice to hear more from these two but the script did not allow it. Kurt Miegel, Val Schbert and Noel Kneebone all sang to their roles with clarity. Iain Lewcock played Dr.Dillamond, it may have been the goat mask he was wearing but some of his diction was a little hard to understand, maybe slow down a little.
The Ensemble started tentatively as though they had not warmed up sufficiently but once they reached the ‘Emerald City’ number they hit their straps and along with the choreography and costumes made this a memorable piece. The choreography and costume changes throughout the night were seamless.
The set was simple but effective backed up by some props such as the smoke effect, the birth scene and others added greatly to the overall presentation. Lighting was effective and not overdone it did not detract from the actors but certainly added to their performances.
The work put in by the Crew and backstage people must have taken many hours to achieve all of the fiddly bits that help to make such a successful show.
Overall this was a triumph for MBPAS and I would recommend highly to anybody that is looking for a great night’s entertainment. The seating arrangement ensures everybody has an uninterrupted view.
The Murray Bridge Players and Singers Inc.
Murray Bridge Town Hall
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