Wicked (2003) Wicked provides fresh evidence that Broadway needs a new, galvanizing musical direction. This lavish revisionist take on "The Wizard of Oz" may possess the visual… 2003-12-16 Kristin Chenoweth Idina Menzel Original Cast Recording Soundtracks
Music Review

Wicked (2003)

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Dec 16, 2003; Lead Performances: Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel and Original Cast Recording; Genre: Soundtracks

Wicked provides fresh evidence that Broadway needs a new, galvanizing musical direction. This lavish revisionist take on ''The Wizard of Oz'' may possess the visual poetry of a Tim Burton movie, but the songs -- by composer Stephen Schwartz and lyricist Winnie Holzman (''thirtysomething'') -- are a dreary melange of Disney and Sondheim. What the lushly produced CD does best is capture the play's two star performances. As Glinda, Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth glides effortlessly from ditzy-blonde comedy to thrilling operatic trill. But the real enchantress is Idina Menzel (''Rent'') as the Wicked Witch. Her voice is clamorous and ear-piercing -- in a good way. It cuts through the fog of show-tune cliche.

Originally posted Jan 09, 2004 Published in issue #745 Jan 09, 2004 Order article reprints