This show is a wicked good time

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By Sara Miller

Tickets for a Broadway production of “Wicked,” the legendary precursor to the “Wizard of Oz,” can run $300 each. Even if you have that kind of money lying around, chances are that most weekend shows are already sold out. The Center for the Performing Arts Studies has solved this theatrical dilemma by bringing a taste of the wildly popular show to Evergreen.

CPAS has rounded up a cast of 25 talented students that some Bostonians might say are “wicked” good. The show takes the form of a musical revue — with 12 pieces from the Broadway fairy tale. Each song is staged with full makeup and costumes, and the playbill provides a synopsis of each scene, placing the song within the greater context of the musical.

The show opens as the citizens of Oz gather to celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. The all-cast number “No One Mourns the Wicked” ends with Glinda the Good Witch describing Dorothy’s melting of the Wicked Witch.

The story then becomes a series of flashbacks that are forerunners to all of the action that occurs in “The Wizard of Oz.” “Wicked” deals with how the relationships between the witches were built. We learn how the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion came to need their brains, heart and courage.

The cast is made up of all the quirky characters that played pivotal roles in the tensions that make Oz the wild place that Dorothy encounters. Glinda the Good Witch is a split role played by Lizzie Vickstrom and Addie Mann. Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is split by Carter Dean and Jamie Nagode. Fiyero, the fiancé of Glinda, is played by Zach Kimbell.

Chas Lederer plays the Wizard, and Nicole Gartside plays Madame Morrible, the sinister headmistress of Shiz University, where Glinda and Elphaba were roommates. Other students from mountain area schools include Savannah Mack, Erin Wenger, Michael Dyer, Emma Leak and Emily Fisher.

The show’s first number is a dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” by the CPAS Broadway dance troupe, and the first act closes with another dance to “The River Won’t Flow.” In addition, CPAS welcomes the performance of singer/songwriter Maddie Casey. Casey is 15-year old jazz/pop virtuoso who just completed the recording of her first CD. Casey will perform four covers of early jazz tunes.

“ ‘Wicked’ is a hugely powerful show,” says Laurie O’Neil, director of the Center for Performing Arts Studies. “It’s been wonderful to see our students working so hard to capture the human side of these fairy-tale characters. We can’t replicate some of the aerial tricks of the Broadway version, but we can capture the emotion and the amazing music.”

“A Wicked Show”

Presented by the Center for Performing Arts Studies May 29, 30, 31

Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Center/Stage; 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen

All tickets are $15. For ticket reservations, call 303-670-2528 or visit www.cpasstudios.net.