Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wonderfully Wicked. . .

Thanks to Tony Kalatzsis (a long-time friend of Seth's), we had tickets for last nights performance of Wicked at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Donna agreed to drive and we left early enough to get there and park in time for a wonderful, leisurely dinner at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant at (duh!) the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

The performance was spectacular. To start with the Pantages is a magnificent, albeit huge, facility. The set was one of those for which a written description simply is not sufficient. And, as Donna commented afterwards, special effects done live on stage in real time are far more impressive than what we see on TV and in film where the editors have free rein.

And the music, singing and acting also were outstanding. It's probably not fair to single out any cast members from an incredible ensemble but my favorites were Eden Espinosa as Elphaba and Carol Kane as Madame Morrible.

As an actor of minor note, I had a number of very personal reactions. First, was the awe of watching a performance on a massive stage in a massive house (2,703 seats). Simply the thought of working in a space like the Pantages is a bit intimidating to me (especially since I am currently performing in a 48-seat venue). Second, I am super-aware of set, lighting and sound. What can I say? All were awesome and certainly contributed to the heightened quality of the acting and singing. Finally, while all the members of the ensemble were outstanding in voice and afoot, they were not all lean, athletic appearing bodies. They looked like a cross-section of a population and that alone made the staging more effective.

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