Seeing a performance at The Pantages Theatre is always an experience in itself. A Hollywood legend in its own right, the Pantages has been hosting world class performances in its opulent setting since 1912. Just driving into that area of Hollywood is thrilling. Its crowded with people walking the streets. Tourists and locals all mingling in a bustling fashion, hurrying to get somewhere. Its as urban as LA gets. The Hollywood Walk of Fame extends all the way down Hollywood Blvd and we found ourselves reading every name on every star as we walked hand in hand to the theatre. Fans dressed as Elphaba wandered along beside us and a religious man yelled to us from the sidewalk that pagan indulgence of any kind was wicked. That’s LA for you. We giggled and felt a little wicked just because we were alone in this sea of people on our way to our own magical adventure.
And it was spectacular. There’s nothing quite as magical as getting caught up in the music as is fills the theatre, pummeling every corner and resonating along every wall. We were fortunate enough today to catch Jennifer Dinoia in the role of Elphaba. I am still reeling at the incredible reach and depth of her voice. She was powerful. Her voice defied not just gravity, but the sound barrier. It was great fun to get to see Chandra Lee Schwartz on stage as Glinda as well. She played the good witch to a tee! And Nick Adams was stunning as Fiyero. You can tell he took great pride in being part of this cast, with his emphatic facial expressions and precise dance movements. Fiyero was loving every minute on that stage. The cast was superb. The musical rapturous. We left with a CD and a pink kids tee with Glinda and Elphaba holding hands in the Emerald City and we sang to the soundtrack the entire way home.
If you aren’t familiar with Wicked – its the precursor story that explains how the witches of the land of Oz came about. Its a fantastic story about friendship, human flaws and finding the best in all of us. Yes – there is a big smoking dragon over the stage and the winged monkeys look a little scary but our six years olds seemed enthralled and not at all frightened. Its a long performance, so be sure your kids are up for sitting for 2 hours and 45 minutes before you spend the big bucks for the tickets. There’s still time left! It runs through March 15. Get tickets online!