Wicked is officially in Nashville and I could not be happier! Over the years I have seen a ridiculous amount of Broadway shows, but Wicked is still my all-time favorite. It was the first show I ever saw on Broadway and this Thursday will be my 6th time to see it. It will also be my third time seeing it in Nashville! I will be reviewing the show on Thursday, but tonight I’m going to give you a peak into what goes into making this show the greatness that it is.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is awesome and they invited me to come watch the Wicked crew load-in and setup for their 4 week engagement in Andrew Jackson Hall. The Wicked set, props and costuming is unbelievable. It’s the most intricate scenery I’ve ever seen on stage and the tour is almost identical to the set on Broadway. So, watching the entire thing get unloaded, brought in and put together is really impressive. It takes about 2 and a half days to put this intricate set together and eight hours to load it back into the trucks.
Not only did I get to an insider’s look into how the show is unfolded, but I also had the pleasure of interviewing their company manager, Steve Quinn. Steve is a very outgoing and friendly guy who has been with the Emerald City tour for 9 years. He knows his stuff. He was asked if there are any plans in the works for musicals or plays to be made from the other books that were written. Sadly, he has never heard of any such plans. (Wouldn’t that be cool though?) He pointed out that it’s hard to have lightening strike twice, which is true, but Idina Menzel did have Defying Gravity and Let It Go… so it’s not impossible.
He believes the main draw of Wicked and its huge success is the fact that we have all been a “green girl”, Elphaba, at some point in our lives. We have all been at the point where we feel awkward or just don’t fit in with that main group. The story of Elphaba is one we can all relate to and we all have to learn to accept who we are and that’s what Wicked celebrates. I completely agree with his theory, it’s a similar theme in Frozen, which explains it’s popularity as well. However, I think there’s a huge lesson to be learned in Glenda’s story as well. I’ll touch on that later this week.
I had to know his favorite part of his job. He told me he loves standing out front before the show starts and watching the faces of all the guests, from city to city, coming to see the show for the first time. There is so much excitement and wonder in their eyes as they come through the lobby.
I feel as if I know Wicked inside and out. I thought I was becoming more and more jaded to the magic behind Broadway shows, but I’ve got to say that my experience today has me all pumped up to see the show again on Thursday!