It's not easy being green. Especially when your college roommate is drop-dead gorgeous with all the cutesy perkiness of Elle Woods from "Legally Blonde."
That's the dilemma facing Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz," in the tremendously entertaining and highly engaging musical fantasy "Wicked," now in residence at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
"Wicked" is the green witch's back story — how she got that way and why she was such a pain in the neck when Dorothy touched down in Munchkinland. The story is the brainchild of Winnie Holzman, from Gregory Maguire's novel, and set to scintillating music by noted composer Stephen Schwartz, who also brought us "Godspell" and "Pippin."
"Colorful" doesn't begin to describe this glittering masterwork, here splendidly directed by Joe Mantello against a multi-hued backdrop created by Eugene Lee and featuring the imaginative costuming of Susan Hilferty. The stage is awash in a greenish tint and the voices are, quite simply, out of this world.