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It’s a wicked good ‘Wicked’ at PPAC

“Wicked” is one of those high-energy musicals that can be enjoyed more than once.

And that proves to be the case at the Providence Performing Arts Center, where the award-winning show is back for the third time...and for a record three weeks, with most shows already sold out. (Director of Marketing P.J. Prokop says there are great seats available New Year’s Eve.)

The musical provides the back-story to “The Wizard of Oz,” introducing us to Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, complete with green skin and long black hair. Alison Luff is sensational in the role, bringing an incredible voice with her. Gina Beck plays Glinda, the future “good witch,” a popular, self-centered college girl who wins Elphaba as a college roommate. Her contrasting character makes for some funny and poignant moments. They also have a couple of beautiful duets together. Jamie Rosenstein, a Brown/Trinity MFA graduate who has performed at Trinity, is very good as Elphaba’s wheelchair-bound sister.

Those of us who have been around for a while remember John Davidson, the popular singer, TV, film and Broadway star. I didn’t recognize him in his role as The Wizard until Valley Breeze critic Frank O’Donnell brought it to my attention at intermission.

This version of “Wicked” is very high energy, complete with all of the technical wonders that worked to perfection. The choreography is sharp, the ensemble works hard in a variety of roles, and the stars all shine. The set, designed by our own Eugene Lee, will dazzle you, from the red-eyed dragon above the proscenium to the flying monkeys and 175,000 pounds of scenery.

“Wicked” is at PPAC through Jan. 12. To check on tickets call 421-ARTS.

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