'Wicked' coming to Wharton Center - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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'Wicked' coming to Wharton Center

"Wicked"

Christian Thompson plays Fiyero in "Wicked" at the MSU Wharton Center.  Courtesy photo

Chloe Gregg

By Chloe Gregg
Editor in Chief

“Wicked” has arrived at the Wharton Center for its long stay in East Lansing, with performances from Wednesday, May 10, to Sunday, May 28.

Wicked is a Broadway hit by Stephen Schwartz that debuted in 2003. The musical is based off of the 1995 novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire. The novel was meant as a prequel to the famous children’s book, “The Wizard of Oz.” The musical follows the life and trials of the Wicked Witch, also known as Elphaba, as she attends university with other witches, wizards and munchkins.

Tickets for the show start at $64. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Christian Thompson plays Fiyero, the love interest of both Elphaba and Glinda, in the upcoming musical. Thompson is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he decided at the ripe age of 8 years old to go into theater.

“I’m excited for audiences to see a black Fiyero,” Thompson said. “That doesn’t happen a lot. That hasn’t happened a lot in the history of ‘Wicked.’ So I am excited and honored to do that.”

After graduating from Penn State University for musical theater in 2015, Thompson started his professional career. He has played in numerous roles, one of the most notable being Benny from “Rent.”

Thompson said that Fiyero is a dream role.

“(Fiyero) has such a great character arc and has some of the best songs in the show, in my opinion,” Thompson said. “I’ve been a ‘Wicked’ fan since I was about 9 or 10 and it first came out.”

According to Thompson, his mom was a big “Wizard of Oz” fan. When she found out a musical about the story before Dorothy landed in Oz was being turned into a Broadway musical, she went out and bought the story for the family to read. They all loved it and saw it on stage within the first year of its debut.

Now as a cast member of “Wicked” himself, Thompson said he has more of an appreciation for just how hard it is to pull off a show like this.

“I am struck by how incredible our crew is and being so in sync with us on stage to make sure all the magic happens just at the right time,” Thompson said. “I watch our conductors do the show and they collaborate within milliseconds to make sure it feels effortless. And it is not. Nothing about it is easy. But we just have such a great group with us on this show that makes it look like magic.”

For more information on show times and the show, visit the Wharton Center website here.

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