'Wicked-er!' outdone only by the olios at Deseret Star Playhouse

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 3:53 p.m. MDT

"WICKED-ER!"; Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State, Murray; written by Ben E Millet; directed by Scott Holman; now through Nov. 10; tickets available at 801-266-2600 and www.desertstar.biz; two and a half hours, one intermission

MURRAY — The parody of "Wicked" at Desert Star — "Wicked-er" — is fun, lively, fresh and outdone only by the olios following the actual show.

The cast members, Michelle Smith (Vanna White), Ashley Haslam (Glinda), Kelly Knight (Tabitha), Andrew Nadon (Sheldon), Adam Griffiths (Zach), Matthew Mullaney (Arnold) and Tyrus Williams (who plays Gary Busey and a number of bit parts), truly shine in numbers that are not only exceptionally well done but are hilarious.

It's refreshing and impressive as Knight becomes Barbra Streisand, Williams plays the part of Julie Andrews singing "The Sound of Music" and they all try to outdo each other in the signature song from "Wicked" with a soapbox, a stepladder and a full-out house ladder.

Not to say the show itself isn't funny and creatively done, but usually olios are anti-climatic.

Not this time.

In the storyline of the show, the "Wizard of Oz" classic, the current musical hit "Wicked" and "Wheel of Fortune's" Vanna White collide as Vanna's dressing room drops on the wicked witch of the east in Munchkin Land.

White gets the ruby sneakers and the power to grant wishes and the corruption that comes with absolute power.

She takes up with Cooper, a brainiac who falls for the wicked witch of the west; Arnold Shwarzenegger, who solves his problems with fists rather than heart; and Zach Galifianakis, who is a deadbeat.

They "Ease on Down" the yellow brick road toward the Emerald Salt Lake City trying to see the wizard (played by Williams after he plays the parts of Pat Sajak, a high-maintenance hairdresser, a reality game show host and the unstoppable Gary Busey).

The witch, who has trouble kick-starting her broom, doesn't bother them much but she's clearly frustrated with the group. It's White who is the villain here until she unwittingly trips herself up on her way back to Hollywood.

The songs along the way are enjoyable and new — "I Got the Magic in Me," "It's Not That Easy Being Green" and "Popular" with adjusted lyrics as various cast members clank into the stage walls, lose wigs and melt into the floor.

Williams is the scene-stealer as he becomes a whole new personality at each appearance.

Haslam is a perfect Glinda, sugar-sweet, pink, pink, pink and completely shallow in her approach to her job and her new friends. She also covers nicely when she flubs her lines.

On the whole, the show is silly and different, and it's over quick.

Just suspend rational thought on your way in the door.

Sensitivity warning: There are a number of politically charged one-liners in this show. There's also one line that faithful Mormons might find offensive.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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