Considering that this too was built on a showstopping number socked outta the park by Idina Menzel, it’s safe to call this Broadway blockbuster the proto-Frozen — down to the sly feminist revision of a classic children’s story and its rousing solidarity with outsiders of all stripes. We’d give the edge to “Let It Go” over Wicked’s knockout Act I closer “Defying Gravity” (and frankly, over the remainder of Stephen Schwartz’s mostly serviceable score). But where this comes out the clear winner is Winnie Holzman’s book — a dandy retelling of The Wizard of Oz as the Wicked Witch of the West’s origin story, with a clever post-Bruno Bettelheim slant on the need for bogeymen/scapegoats and the uses of enchantment and fairy tales to provide them.
The last tour to come through TPAC was simply the highest-caliber roadshow production we’ve ever seen here, with sets and staging of staggeringly superior quality: This one has the added attraction of former SNL cast member and About Last Night … screenwriter Tim Kazurinsky as the Wiz. See tpac.org for more information.