Courtney Monsma and Sheridan Adams as Glinda and Elphaba in Wicked the musical at Melbourne's Regent Theatre.

WICKED returns to Oz and remains wonderfully evergreen

March 9, 2024

Don’t sweep this musical under the rug. You’ll be green with envy for missing out. 

The Broadway Blockbuster musical WICKED has flown into Oz and is playing at its original Australian home, Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 2 March 2024. More than 20 years since its premiere on Broadway, WICKED remains one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world, surpassing Cats as the fourth longest running show in Broadway history.

It’s been a hot minute since I last saw WICKED in Melbourne–I was a mere 16 years’ old donning my school blazer at a matinee performance on Collins Street, cheering on Lucy Durack and Amanda Harrison. I remember the scenes vividly and the spectacle left a lasting impression on me. Now, I am married with a two-year-old daughter, seeing WICKED with a whole new lens. It appears that over the years, the artistic talent has risen to an extraordinary level and the dancing ensemble members are triple threats in their own right. From the very beginning, it is demonstrated that every performer on that stage is not just professional, but exquisite. 

Glinda and Elphaba with the ensemble, dressed in green.
Cast of WICKED. Photo Jeff Busby.

The Australian cast is led by Courtney Monsma as Glinda (The ‘Ga’ is silent, mind you), the bubbly, popular girl who becomes “Glinda the Good”, and Sheridan Adams as Elphaba, the girl born with emerald-green skin who grows up to become the “Wicked Witch of the West”. Both women portray their characters with sheer individualism; particularly Glinda who leaves her audience in stitches during the musical scene ‘Popular’. The overly giddy and ironically unattractive qualities of Glinda’s portrayal make her a delight to watch, bringing a new level of humour to the unscripted moments of her scenes. Elphaba, a wildly ambitious and passionate advocate for the freedom of animals, unleashes a new level of vocal ability. During the iconic closing Act One number ‘Defying Gravity’, she rises above (literally and vocally) to receive a standing ovation. She is relatively new on the musical theatre block, but her five-star performance has captured the hearts and minds of Melburnians. 

Sheridan Adams as Elphaba in Wicked holding her broomstick and shows the illusion of flying in the dark sky, singing Defying Gravity.
Sheridan Adams singing ‘Defying Gravity’. Photo Jeff Busby.

Playing the role of the conniving and manipulative Madame Morrible is Australian theatre icon Robyn Nevin, who is warmly welcomed to the stage upon her first piece of dialogue. The dry and raspy embodiment she brings to Madame Morrible is both humorous and invigorating as she leaves the audiences breathless with laughter during her stark one-liners. 

There’s no rest for the wicked as Simon Burke finishes Moulin Rouge on the same stage just days prior to his opening performance of the Wizard. With a dash of cheekiness that he is so renowned for in his Rouge character Zidler, the Wizard is a more contained role, peeling layers of his ‘wonderfulness’ with every scene. 

Simon Burke as the Wizard with Sheridan Adams as Elphaba on stage of Wicked.
Simon Burke as the Wizard. Photo Jeff Busby.

Rising star Liam Head plays Fiyero, the handsome and seemingly shallow Winky Prince unveils a complexity to the character that is wickedly charming. When Elphaba and Fiyero share their unrestrained embrace in Act Two, the pair’s raw and palpable sensuality shifts the show into a higher gear where caution is thrown to the wind. 

Glinda and Fiyero holding each other's hand during their engagement scene.
Glinda and Fiyero. Photo Jeff Busby.

One of the most in-demand actors on the Australian stage, Adam Murphy, portrays Dr Dillamond; a literal scapegoat who is central to the character arc of Elphaba’s wickedness. Murphy’s rendition of Dr Dillamond is of delicate beauty and sweet sorrow–leaving spectators speechless when his human voice is snatched from him. 

Shewit Belay, who made her professional musical theatre debut understudying the three lead female roles in Hamilton, plays Elphaba’s wheelchair bound sister Nessarose, and brings a lively and loveable performance that soon spirals into a whirlwind of wickedness. Her insecure munchkin Boq, played by Kurtis Papadinis captures the hearts of the audience as he struggles to give his own heart away to Glinda. 

It is not WICKED without the the remarkably talented group of performers comprising the ensemble and swings, including Christian Ambesi, Conor Bann-Murray, Brittany Carter, Olivia Castagna, Eli Cooper, Matt Cranleigh, Joseph Donovan, Sage Douglas, Bayley John Edmends, Todd Jacobsson, Rohan Khanna, Andrew Kroenert, Elisha Zion Lee, Jordan Malone, Emily Monsma, Matilda Moran, Jackson Reedman, Amelia Sanzo, Edward Smith, Ksenia Teliatnikova, Lucas Van Rhijn, Jessica Vellucci, Mietta White and Jun Woodfield.

Ensemble cast of Wicked on stage wearing school uniform.
Ensemble cast of WICKED. Photo Jeff Busby.

From sparkle to spectacle, every costume shines like an emerald under the spotlight and truly raises the show to new heights. The set is marvellously bewitching where you can see every dollar has been spent to thoughtfully portray this tale to its fullest illusion.

Winner of over 100 major awards including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards® and six Drama Desk Awards, WICKED is a blockbuster show that leaves you spellbound.  

Experience the unforgettable, award-winning musical WICKED.

SEASON DETAILS
Venue: Regent Theatre, Melbourne
Season from: 2 March
Performance times Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm and 6:30pm
Prices: From $79.00 AUD (Transaction fees apply)
Bookings: ticketek.com.au or phone 1300 111 011

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