If you’re looking to treat your kids to a fun evening in Seattle this summer, WICKED is definitely worth your consideration. The Broadway blockbuster is at the Paramount Theater through August 2nd, and it’s a rollicking good time for the whole family, with some important messages, too.
I went with my 12 year old, and he gave it two thumbs way up-super high praise from a tween!
WICKED is the winner of more than 100 international awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards. It is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, and tells,”…the untold story of the witches of Oz,” as it follows the wicked witch from her birth as a shockingly green infant to her unlikely friendship with Glinda the Good and her transformation into the character you know (or thought you knew…).
The sets and the costumes were absolutely amazing, and the entire cast was outstanding. Carrie St.Louis, who played Glinda, was deliciously over-the-top. She reminded me a bit of Reese Witherspoon in her comedic roles with a dash of Lucille Ball thrown in. And, boy, can she sing! Alyssa Fox was terrific as the wicked witch, Elphaba. I was particularly impressed with the range of subtle emotions she brought to her character. It takes a skillful actress to transcend green body paint and a pointy black hat!
The rest of the cast was equally delightful. Kristine Zbornik as Madame Morrible was a particular scene stealer.
Young children will love the colorful costumes and sets and lively musical numbers.
Older kids will enjoy seeing a twist on the familiar story, while tweens and teens will likely relate to some of the story’s bigger themes, like trying to fit in when you feel like you do nothing but stand out. My 12 year old’s favorite part was when Elphaba was trying to learn the art of hair tossing and other, “Popular girl,” mannerisms.
There is one scene with some brief kissing, and there are many scenes of implied peril, as you’d expect in a good vs. wicked storyline-nothing more than what you would find in a Disney film, though more intense because it is a live show.
It does have a long run time, but the children I saw around us were captivated the whole time. I think it’s suitable for most children in 2nd grade and up. I do think very young or sensitive children might be frightened by some of the more intense scenes, costumes, and special effects, which include lots of sudden and loud noises. And, yes, there are flying monkeys!
Even if you’ve seen another production of WICKED, I think you’ll be surprised and delighted by this one. The Paramount is simply a gorgeous venue, and everything about this show is first class.
A few tips if you’re going to go with children:
- I do think children will enjoy it most if they have some familiarity with the traditional Wizard of Oz story.
- Booster seats are available, and I definitely recommend them, even for elementary age kiddos. The ushers will help you find one.
- Keri has some suggestions on good places to park and eat near the Paramount in her review from a previous show. There are also drinks and snacks available for purchase at the theater, though they’re on the spendy side, and the food options are limited. They do now have reusable tumblers you can purchase if you want to take your beverage in the theater.
- Do try to eat and use the bathroom before the show. There is a 15 minute intermission, but it really isn’t long enough to do either-and you definitely won’t have time to do both!
- Audience members were in everything from Hawaiian shirts to gowns. If you have an emerald blouse, or your daughter has some ruby red shoes, bust them out!
- There are posters in the lobby area for fun photo ops.
- If you’re going to go, I’d spring for the best seats you can. If you’re going to go to this show, you’ll want to feel like you’re really experiencing it.
Tickets are available on-line at stgpresents.org and tickets.com or by calling 877-STG-4TIX or in person at select Ticketmaster locations and at The Paramount Theater Box Office Monday through Friday from 10AM-6PM. See available options and get more information here.
Photo of Carrie St.Louis and Alyssa Fox is by Joan Marcus
We were provided with tickets to the press showing to facilitate this review. We were not otherwise compensated, and all opinions are our own!