The Manila run of the international touring production of the Broadway musical hit, Wicked, is ending March 9 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, but Filipinos can’t seem to get enough of it. Extended for almost a month, the production has enjoyed brisk ticket sales and discussions should be rife on what makes it work.

Wicked tells of the friendship between a green-skinned witch named Elphaba and the popular “good witch” named Glinda. Elphaba is a rebel who tries to rebel against the Wizard of Oz, while Glinda would rather concede to the norms.

Opening the act is Glinda on a bubble portrayed through a circular metal frame that descends from the ceiling every time the “good witch” travels, sharing among her fellow Ozians how Elphaba was killed on a mission, revealing the friendship that blossomed between them.

Performing 19 original songs, including crowd favorites “Dancing through Life” and “For Good,” the much-hyped musical certainly lived up to expectations with its stellar performance.

The production made sure to bring Oz to Manila with the meticulous and grand stage production. If the Phantom of the Opera had the majestic chandelier as a centerpiece attraction, Wicked has the Time Dragon that moves its head every time something “magical” would happen. From the flying monkeys to how Elphaba levitates on stage as she defies gravity, the production is spellbinding.

But what makes the “Wicked” experience all the more magical is the performance of Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers playing as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. They showcase their topnotch vocal prowess and undeniable chemistry on stage.

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The portrayal by Rix of the fearless and witty character of the emerald-skinned witch as well has her hair-raising rendition of “Defying Gravity” as she levitates on the stage certainly makes her unforgettable.

Mathers may have played only second lead but her amusing and humorous performance steals the show. Her antics and funny gimmicks have the theater laughing and make the three-hour musical a night to remember.

The musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”

A charity performance and live auction were dedicated last January 31 to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda-Haiyan. The musical’s composer, Stephen Schwartz was present during the event.

The acclaimed musical has garnered three Tony Awards and a Grammy.

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