Wicked in Philadelphia is a show for all generations. That’s what Olivia Valli says. Valli plays the role of Elphaba in the stage production coming to Kimmel Cultural Campus for the month of November. (see so many beautiful photos below) And Valli knows all about generations. Her grandfather is Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons – the subject of another Broadway show, Jersey Boys.
Olivia and I spent some time together talking about her family, her career, and the gratification she gets out of seeing the Wicked audience full of kids, parents, and grandparents each night. The show speaks to everyone on some level because, as Olivia explains in our conversation, everybody has been the underdog.
Everybody has felt like they were different or misunderstood. Whether it be the color of their skin or their gender, or because of the things they like or the things they don’t like that are really popular. And unfortunately, there are people who are bullies out there, but there are more people out there who root for somebody who rises above.
Wicked is the story of Oz long before Dorothy landed there. It is the story of two women who embody what it is to be female. They are strong in their own way. What makes it powerful, is that neither is wrong. They are both right, and they are both beautiful. Olivia said:
You see 2 very powerful women in really big roles, which is not something you see often. And I think that you get the opposite ends of the spectrum you get what womanhood means differently like, whether it’s super feminine or it’s very tough. And all are beautiful. And you get to see unconditional love through friendship, and you get to see understanding.
I liken the show to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. A stadium filled with tens of thousands of women of all shapes and sizes. People of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Individuals who may disagree with one another on many levels, but share a love that outweighs the rest. Taylor Swift brings them together, but their respect and appreciation for each other is what fills the stadium with love.
Back to Olivia:
Often we usually see an undertone of competition among women. And this is just 2 women who just love each other, no matter what, and they’re going to be there for each other, no matter what, because that is what friendship is.
Tickets for Wicked can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See www.kimmelculturalcampus.org for more information.