Mariand Torres as Elphaba in “Wicked” at The Paramount
If you take your kids to one show this summer, make it “Wicked,” now playing at Seattle's Paramount Theatre. From stellar performances to knock-out, awe-inspiring sets and staging, there’s a reason “Wicked” is so popular. Tip: Get tickets now — they're going fast and this terrific production is only on through July 7.
If you’re not familiar with the story of “Wicked,” it’s a twist on L. Frank Baum’s classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” told from the perspective of the two main witches in the original tale, Glinda the Good Witch of the North and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. The retelling in “Wicked” mostly centers on reimagining what led up to the events in “The Wizard of Oz.” Specifically, the story follows Glinda and Elphaba’s college years together in the wizarding world and their time as roommates and eventual friends.
While Glinda is popular and privileged, socially isolated Elphaba comes from a troubled past — not to mention the fact that she’s literally green, a visual reminder of her status as an outsider. The story explores big questions and themes such as making friends, speaking out, bullying, being yourself and doing the right thing. All this takes place within a simple, fun and light-hearted storyline.
The bottom line:
“Wicked” is a fast-paced, family-friendly, fun-filled, magical ride from start to finish. My daughter and I were completely engrossed for the entire two-hour-and-forty-five-minute run-time. The plot line is easy for kids to understand and engaging and entertaining enough to dazzle even a novice young theater-goer.
Similar to the original Broadway production, the sets in this show have a fantasy element that will thrill and excite little ones: a metal dragon hangs from the ceiling, emitting fog and lighting up red at various points during the performance. Glinda descends onto the stage hanging from a giant bubble wand, and Elphaba “flies” away with special effects that really do make her seem like she’s soaring.
The ensemble numbers involve an incredible amount of dancing and an exciting array of costumes with bright colors and off-the-wall patterns and styles befitting the magical land of Oz. The principal cast gives particularly stellar performances. Most notably, Erin Mackey (Glinda) brought the house down on the night we went. Her perfect pitch and incredibly impressive range completely wowed me. And she made Glinda pretty hilarious, too.
If you're looking for ways to beat the heat, get a little arts and learning in, all while having a super fun day out on the town, I highly recommend this show.
Parents should know:
- Tickets to "Wicked" are going fast, so finding tickets for your preferred price, seats and date may be difficult. Consider calling (1-800-982-2787) for best available seats within your price range, or buying tickets from a resale site.
- Or, if you've got time to kill, there is a $25 lottery available. To participate, present yourself two and half hours prior to the performance you hope to attend and names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only.
- The lobby has concessions and snacks; expect a very long line at concessions and at the restroom during intermission.
- Arrive early to find parking and account for traffic. Many restaurant choices are within easy walking distance of the theater.
If you go…
When: “Wicked” plays through Sunday, July 7. Hurry! Tickets are selling out fast.
Where: The Paramount Theatre at 911 Pine St., Seattle. Note: Only the orchestra level of The Paramount is accessible.
Tickets: Buy online or in person at The Paramount Theatre's box office (Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.). Prices are $49 and up, or take a crack at the $25 lottery tickets described above.
Run time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, with one intermission.
Parking: Several garages and pay lots are located nearby the theater, though street parking, if you can find it, makes for a quicker getaway after the show. Consider transit or ride-hailing to avoid parking hassles.