Manila run of 'Wicked' extended to March 9

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2014 09:46 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2014 07:24 PM

Musical's composer lauds touring company

MANILA – The Broadway musical hit “Wicked,” which is currently drawing in enthusiastic crowds to the Cultural Center of the Philippines since it opened on January 22, has been extended again.

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions announced this week that “Wicked” will now be playing until March 9, instead of the previously set closing date of February 23.

“We have managed to squeeze in 16 more shows prior to ‘Wicked’s’ Melbourne season, with no further extensions being possible,” producer James Cundall said in a statement.

The producers also noted that the Australian touring production has been receiving standing ovations “night after night since its opening.”

Based on characters created by L. Frank Baum in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” tells the story of the unlikely friendship of two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Glinda grows up to be the Good Witch, while Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch of the West.

The musical’s composer Stephen Schwartz, who visited the Manila production and caught a performance last Sunday, was all praises for the cast led by Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers as the two witches.

“I have to say, I’ve seen most of this company tour in Auckland, NZ and it’s one of my favorite companies of the show. I think our two leads are exceptional and also the local director who mounted it here is a really fine director. So I was very, very happy with what I saw,” Schwartz said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Schwartz, who also composed the musicals “Godspell” and “Pippin,” also noted that the Manila audience last Sunday was “pretty enthusiastic.”

Schwartz also stressed that touring production, which had also played in Singapore and South Korea, is comparable to the one on Broadway.

“Technically in terms of scenery, the costumes, the lighting and everything else, this is virtually exactly the show that is playing on Broadway. And because the cast is so strong here, I feel it’s pretty much as strong an experience as audiences have on Broadway,” he said.