Wonderful cast in WICKED tour (Toledo, Stranahan) Review

I have now officially lost count of how many times I have seen Wicked between New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, East Lansing, and now Toledo. Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve become a Wicked junkie…I love the show from top to bottom, from song to song, from scene change to scene change.

The Wicked tour that has settled in at the Stranahan Theater in Toledo is terrific, and it’s headlined by a great cast. Natalie Daradich is a fine Glinda, Vicki Noon a terrific Elphaba. Marilyn Caskey brings a refined sense of humor to Madam Morrible, as does Don Amendolia to the role of the Wizard. Michelle London and Zach Hanna play off of each other nicely as Nessarose and Boq.

For Wicked purists, this is the B-tour; the set is slightly flattened to fit into smaller houses that don’t use as deep a stage and as bountiful a fly system. That means there is no bridge that cast members walk across, and everything looks a bit flattened set-wise. But it’s all beautifully lit, and the show works like a charm. If you’ve never seen the show before, you won’t notice anything different from the photos you see in the programs. Even those who have seen the show before might not notice the subtle set design changes.

My only complaint, as usual at the Stranahan, is the garbled sound. Wicked tours with its own extensive sound equipment. But the 2800 seat barn of a theater is difficult to fill with clear sound because of the sheer size. It won’t bother those who know the show and lyrics. If you don’t, pay close attention – some of the sound is garbled here, in particular in the choral numbers. Soloists fare better throughout.

If you don’t have your tickets already, good luck. This is an absolute Stranahan blockbuster with only scattered singles and side seating available for off-nights. If you can grab a ticket, get one. This is a highly emotionally-charged cast, and the chemistry on stage shows throughout.

(For the record it’s 9 — I’ve seen the show 9 times now….)

2 thoughts on “Wonderful cast in WICKED tour (Toledo, Stranahan) Review

  1. I would agree about the sound, although I wouldn’t be as charitable as you. The first act sound could only be described as shrill and garbled.

  2. I have never seen a single show at the Stranahan that has good sound. I even warn my friends before they go see something there that the sound will be awful. Nothing has been as bad as the sound for “The Drowsy Chaperone” earlier this season — it’s a show I love but which is 100% dependent on hearing every word. It was a mess.

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