I spent yesterday in New York City, catching two Broadway shows: a Wicked matinee and an evening performance of Sweeney Todd.
A little over a year ago, I realized that I was seeing more theater in London than I was in New York, which is rather ironic for a resident of Connecticut! So I resolved to get in to the city to see shows at least a couple times a year. Heading in to New York on a Wednesday--something that is not really possible for me when school is in session--enables me to catch two performances in one day.
Wicked is a wonderfully subversive version of The Wizard Of Oz from the perspective of the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West. The show is an upbeat visual effects spectacle with a peppy Stephen Schwartz score and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
On the other hand, the current incarnation of Sweeney Todd is a stripped down rendition, with just one stark set and the ten cast members doubling up as the musicians (and stagehands, as well!). This very dark story was presented in a dramatically gripping style. The casting was first rate, especially considering the versatility needed in actors/singers who could also handle the challenging instrumental duties. This show, though very different than the afternoon production, was a treat, too.