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Have a Wicked time watching Oz musical; SHOW'S MODERN TWIST; Music.

Byline: MAEVE QUIGLEY, DEMELZA de BURCA & JAMES WARD

This Christmas could be the perfect time to take a trip to the merry old land of Oz.

The blockbuster musical Wicked, a modern day twist on the classic story of the Wizard of Oz, kicked off an eightweek run at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre earlier this week.

At this stage the show is almost as famous as the L Frank Baum story that it's based on. It's been running on Broadway for ten years and counting and is one of the most popular musicals ever to grace London's West End.

Nikki Davis Jones, who takes the lead role as the Green Witch (or the Wicked Witch of the West as we know her) says it's because the story is so relatable that audiences keep coming back for more.

She told The Beat: "There is so much about Wicked. The music alone, a lot of people know the music and listen to the album. I love the score, I think it's incredible.

"The story is so beautiful. It's the untold story of the Wizard of Oz so it's what happens before, during and after when Dorothy arrives.

"People can relate to it because they know some of the characters already and it's basically twists on all of those characters.

"It's a story about two girls who have this incredible friendship.

"I think most people have got a friend like that or would like to have a friend that close. It's almost a love story between friends really. I think that is one of the big draws, everyone can relate to that friendship tale."

The musical gives audiences a very different glimpse of the Wicked Witch they might remember from the 1939 Judy Garland movie.

Nikki said: "You find out everything about her really. Where she grew up, her family, how she was treated and the reasons she does become evil. It's genius, because everyone thinks she's quite an iconic villain and she becomes a heroine.

"What we see of her in the Wizard of Oz, it's actually only 11 minutes worth of screen time but we've got such a strong image of her being this evil character. So it's really brilliant that you get to see all the reasons she becomes evil."

Now the hit musical has come to Ireland, you won't have to travel somewhere over the rainbow to see it.

Wicked runs here until January 18, tickets priced [euro]25-65.

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TALENTED: Stars of Wicked
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2013
Words:417
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