By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter New Journal and Guide
The Broadway hit musical “Wicked,” an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz story, is playing out now at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall until March 25. Most people are familiar with the movie epic “The Wizard of Oz,” the tale of a Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, who was transported via tornado to a magical land filled with wizards, munchkins, and nasty witches.
Dorothy wants to return home to Auntie Mame and Uncle Ed, but she runs into some trouble. The house which the tornado used to transport her to Oz lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, who had been tormenting the small village’s tiny residents, much to the delight of the populous. The witch’s sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, is not so happy with Dorothy about taking out her sister. Glinda, the Good Witch, however, drops into the neighborhood to do for Dorothy what good witches do.
Of course, there’s a yellow brick road to travel to get home, along with solving the personal problems of the scarecrow, tin man and lion. The story of Dorothy’s adventure won acclaim and an academy award in 1939 and remains an annual popular viewing on TV. “Wicked” offers some interesting revelations about the witches and other characters, prior to Dorothy’s arrival in the land of magic. “Wicked” is based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maquire. It has won 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards. “Wicked” had a very successful run in Norfolk almost two years ago at the Chrysler. The show features a huge cast of dancers who make the play come to life for 24 performances.
The two most prominent cast members who play Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the East are Ann Brummel and Tiffany Haas, respectively. Like the Wizard of Oz, “Wicked” is filled with music and dance, colorful and exotic costuming and sets crafted to catch the eye and the emotions of the folks sitting in the audience. Samantha Farrow is a dancer and member of that highly talented chorus. She appears in scenes in one form or another throughout the production. In one scene, she appears in a rather big and exotic hat and mermaid dress.
A burgundy outfit and hair in buns help identify her in another scene. Born in L.A. and trained at New York University, she has performed the New York theater circuit as a dancer. Along with performing in the show at Chrysler, Farrow said she will be meeting family she has never met who live in Hampton Roads “I have seen the Wizard of Oz and I like it,” said Farrow. “But I think people will enjoy ‘Wicked’ as well. It is a great show which will keep your attention from the beginning to the end.
This has been a great experience for me and other cast members.” The Norfolk engagement of WICKED is March 7 – 25, 2012 at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall for a total of 24 performances. Tickets are at ticketmaster.com/wicked or at the Scope Arena Box Office, located at 201 East Brambleton Avenue in downtown Norfolk.