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Wednesday, 25th September 2013
In Japan Entertainment News,

Wicked in Tokyo praised by composer

Composer of the smash-hit musical Wicked Stephen Schwartz has praised the production's Japanese incarnation, which is currently "dancing through life" at the Dentsu Shiki Theatre in Shiodome Tokyo.

In a recent interview with the Japanese creative team, Schwartz said he was "very impressed" with the star quality of the ensemble, in particular their ability to sing as one voice and deal with the ultra-quick costume changes.

He also praised the sharpness of the dancing and shed some light on the creation of the more well-known songs of the show, in particular For Good, or Do Not Forget You as it is called when translated into Japanese.

"This song is a very important song in the show and it was written up late," Schwartz explained, adding that he went to his grown-up daughter for the crucial inspiration behind the lyrics.

He indicated that he also appreciated the technical differences in the lighting and sound of the show, saying that the minor adjustments made the Japanese production 'noteworthy' when compared to incarnations in other countries.

Wicked has been playing to Japanese audiences since 2006, in the form of a condensed 30-minute version of the musical that featured at Universal Studios in Osaka. The first full-length production commenced in Tokyo in 2007 before touring to Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya.

It returned to Tokyo in August 2013 and has been playing to packed houses ever since.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl who eventually becomes the Wicked Witch of the West and tries to steal Dorothy's shoes in the LF Baum classic The Wizard of Oz.

The musical has been a hit across the world, with open-ended productions in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and on Broadway in the US.

Those wishing to experience the Japanese incarnation should book seats before the end of its run in January 2014. Tickets can be attained via the official website.

Written by Susan Ballion