Look familiar? About a month and a half ago The GF and I saw Wicked in Seattle. I wrote about it here. It was a great show, and The GF liked it so much, she wanted to see it again. So when w00tstock was announced for San Francsicso, we decided two shows made the trip worthwhile.
The show was essentially the same, as you would expect, but there were some subtle differences. The stage didn't seem quite as wide. Some of the scene transitions seemed to overlap a bit too much.
The big difference was in the portrayal of Glinda. I don't know if it was an acting decision or a directing decision. But it's interesting how a subtle change in actions and intonation can really change the way a character is perceived, even with the same script.
The Glinda in the Seattle version was more chipper, shallow, and ditzy. She started the show as utterly clueless and unaware of the impact she had on others. She was spoiled and self-centered, but didn't seem malevolent. The character was definitely a bully, but it was more because she didn't really know any better.
The Glinda in the San Francisco show was still chipper and ditzy, but she had a bit of a mean streak. At the beginning, the character was played for exagerated comic releif, in addition to moving the story forward. Despite that, it was a darker portrayal. And she seemed to have more questionable motives.
The Seattle Glinda tried to get what she wanted and didn't really give any thought to the people she hurt along the way. The San Francisco Glinda tried to get what she wanted and seemed to delight in other people's pain along the way.
Sure the San Francisco Glinda grew through the story, and became a better person, but the transition seemed less genuine than the one in Seattle.
I'm not complaining. The show was fantastic with powerful music, transformative songs, and excellent live effects. Regardless of where you are when it comes to town, go see the show.