“Wicked” good entertainment arrives in Salt Lake

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Wicked, Salt Lake City, Broadway in Utah
Wicked plays at Capitol Theatre through August 24

Broadway blockbuster “Wicked” returns to Salt Lake City for an extended third run through August 24 at Capitol Theatre.

The musical is the adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel “Wicked—The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” which takes the well-known and well-loved story of “The Wizard of Oz” and turns it on its head.

Wicked Program Capitol Theatre Broadway Across America
Wicked playbill

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked explores the complicated relationship of Glinda the Good Witch of the North (performed by Gina Beck) and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West (Emma Hunton) as they meet in school, become friends and mature into adult witches—all before Dorothy and her farmhouse land in Oz.

You’ll also learn the back story behind the tinman, scarecrow and cowardly lion who wind up following the yellow brick road as well as who was really responsible for those flying monkeys.

Even though “Wicked” premiered on Broadway ten years ago, the political chaos and difficult decisions the witches find themselves facing are as relevant today as ever. A leader who pits citizens again each other, discrimination and bullying are all part of what makes “Wicked” tick with audiences around the world and at all stages of life.

Writes Maguire, “No one in ‘Wicked’ demonstrates perfect judgment. The danger isn’t just that one’s noble aims might justify questionable means, but that the very quality of one’s moral zeal, the rightness of one’s cause might justify the means.”

As often plays out in real life, neither of Wicked’s heroines are infallible.

Hunton plays the role of Elphaba with awkward perfection. Not comfortable in her own emerald-green skin as the curtain rises, Elphaba learns to trust in herself and what she believes is right—despite the consequences.

And although Glinda’s growth is based on the desire to be popular—with her classmates first and then with her followers in the Land of Oz—Beck’s nuanced acting offers a snippet of snark behind the perky and pretty exterior, making her less of a character you love to hate.

Beck and Hunton are powerfully matched on stage and perform admirably with love interest Fiyero (Nick Adams) as well as Tim Kazurinsky’s portrayal of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Which witch is really wicked? You’ll just have to see “Wicked” to find out!

Behind the Scenes

The Salt Lake production welcomes nine local musicians to the show who perform alongside the traveling orchestra.

Tickets are still available to many shows and can be purchased online at ArtTix.org or by phone at 801-355-ARTS (2787). Wicked will play through August 24 at the Capitol Theatre. Show times are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 6:30 p.m. with matinees Saturdays at 2p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Wicked, Bambara, cocktails
Elphaba’s Elixir cocktail at The Vault at Bambara

Pre- and Post-show Drinks

During the run of Wicked in Salt Lake, across the street at Bambara inside the Hotel Monaco, The Vault is pouring some Wicked-themed cocktails through August 24.

Austin Craig, head bartender at Bambara, is delighting dining guests with a new roster of six signature cocktails when they join Bambara for a pre-theatre meal or head to The Vault for a post-show wind down.

  • Green with Elphie
  • Dr. Dillamond’s Dram
  • Flying Monkey
  • Glinda-Licious
  • Elphaba’s Elixir
  • Madame Morrible’s Mead
Wicked, Bambara, The Vault, cocktail
The Flying Monkey cocktail at The Vault at Bambara

“Many guests love dining with us pre-theatre and we wanted to surprise them by offering a line of specialty cocktails just for the show,” said Guy Wheelwright, Bambara’s general manager. “They are wickedly good and are guaranteed to help get people in a theatrical mood!”

For Sunday matinees at 1 p.m., Bambara’s weekend brunch is a nearby option and the restaurant will also open early on Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. so guests can make it to the 6:30 p.m. curtain call.

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