A triumphant run of Amazing Grace Conservatory’s (AGC) Wicked at the Nate Holden Theatre for the last two weekends was as eye-popping as ever. It was almost impossible not to enjoy this show, with its seamless direction, toe-tapping choreography, gifted soloist and dancers; so, in other words, it’s ‘wicked’ fun.
This year marked the 15th year anniversary of Wendy Raquel Robinson’s Amazing Grace Conservatory. Celebrities who came out to celebrate and support Robinson were: Debbie Allen (award-winning choreographer, director, actress), Loretta Devine (Emmy-award winner), Jill Scott (Grammy-winning actress, and singer-songwriter), Holly Robinson Peete (“Mike & Molly, “21 Jump Street”), Ricky Minor (Music director, composer and Music producer, Tonight Show with Jay Leno), Keke Palmer (“True Jackson, VP”), Judge Mabelean Ephriam, Dorien Wilson (actor), Maryum (May-May) Ali, Norwood (recording artist), Starletta Dupois (veteran actress) just to name a few. The sold out theater was alive and the air was filled with shared feelings of emotion, anticipation and energy. The characters portrayed in the Land of Oz emanated a colorful explosive joy; however, the most vivid of all are the amazing, young performers – an ensemble of 88 acting, singing and dancing, as a committed one.
Wicked, based on the novel by Gregory McGuire, book by Winnie Holzman will include both original and AGC-inspired musical selections including ‘BUZZING’ by recording artist and AGC Alum, Mann. AGC told the tale of a female friendship in Wicked – a story of corruption and deception; a wry reconsideration of good and evil.
The setting was a journey back to the Land of Oz long before Dorothy drops in, when two other girls meet up and develop a unique relationship. One is born with emerald-green skin, smart, fiery and misunderstood and the other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked tells the story of their remarkable journey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.
AGC’s Wicked wastes little time in evoking one of the more indelible images of the movie, with aerial dynamics of Glinda and the flying monkey above the stage. The set is an evocative spectacle, without the clutter. There was something for nearly everyone there, including a dark political import that, repression and fascism are alive in the Land of Oz, as well as the tale of teen witches vying for attention from the handsome prince, Fiyero.
All of the students expressed a unique, individual dynamic to the characters they played; their commitment and comedic timing kept the audience laughing and emotionally engaged in the story. The audience seemed to know that they were about to experience something unique and magical; the audience was intrigued with anticipation and emotion; many souls had been touched by the verbal expressions of astonishment.
Amazing Grace Conservatory’s Co-founder and Executive Producer of “Wicked” is Wendy Raquel Robinson, a woman of integrity, patience and commitment who has diligently orchestrated a large undertaking with skill. Denise Dowse, Director of “Wicked” clearly helped the cast develop its authenticity of the show. Wicked ran for two weeks (Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20 and May 26-27).
For more information on Amazing grace Conservatory, visit the website at www.amazinggraceconservatory.comTweet