There’s still more to discover in Oz.
Smash Broadway musical “Wicked” returns to The Smith Center September 11 to 29 – and if you think you’ve seen all there is to experience with this show, think again.
This acclaimed national tour offers larger-than-life theater magic that its team assures will surprise and thrill audiences, even those who have seen the musical before.
The production’s creative team made it top priority to deliver elaborate sets, ornate costumes and dazzling special effects that rival the highest standards of theater, says Company Manager Steve Quinn.
This tour even offers all-new elements, he adds, providing more reason for many to enjoy the musical again and share the experience with friends and family.
“Our producers and creative team set out to give the (tour) audiences an experience that equals what you’d see on Broadway,” Quinn says.
Repeat viewings of “Wicked” always reveal underlaying layers of this elaborate show that audiences might not have caught before, he adds.
“Your first time at ‘Wicked,’ you’ll enjoy the spectacle, the humor and Stephen Schwartz’s beautiful music,” Quinn says. “When you come back, you can absorb more details about the story, the costumes and how well everything works together.”
A Hit Show Takes on New Meaning
Some aspects of this production remain exactly the same as past versions, Quinn adds — and that’s not a bad thing.
When Gregory Maguire’s bestselling book first came to life on Broadway in 2003, the show’s compelling story of Oz from the Wicked Witch’s perspective became an instant hit.
Not one detail of the storyline has changed in the show’s ensuing tours, Quinn notes, including this one.
Amazingly, he says, the show’s message of tolerance and its complex characters have only become more relevant through the years.
“It’s been interesting to see how our messages become more prevalent over time, especially those about anti-bullying, or how the character Doctor Dillamond fights to keep his freedom of speech,” Quinn says. “(Those topics) are resonating more now than ever.”
The musical’s two empowering female leads also hold more significance today, he adds.
“I get asked repeatedly if we’ve changed the book, and I tell them it’s the same words and lyrics that were there at the beginning,” he says.
The Challenges of a Large-Scale Show
Something else remains the same, Quinn says: Traveling with a massive touring production poses constant challenges and surprises.
“The old adage, ‘the show must go on’ is never more true than on tour,” he says.
This tour of “Wicked” is currently traveling the country with 13 semi-trailers packed with enormous sets, costumes, props and equipment.
“Moving the show from city to city every few weeks, there are bound to be circumstances beyond our control, especially during winter months,” Quinn explains.
That’s also true of the 75 people in the show’s company, who usually fly to each new city.
“When flights are delayed or cancelled, you have to get creative,” Quinn says. “There have been those rare occasions when time was of the essence and we had to rent a bus to get to our next city, because there were no flights available for days.”
These obstacles all prove worthwhile, he says, to bring such a lavish and entertaining production to audiences nationwide.
“I think the messages contained in ‘Wicked’ are universal,” Quinn says of the show’s widespread popularity. “And we’ve been around so long now, people are bringing their kids to see what they found so much fun the first time.”
SEE THE SHOW
“Wicked” runs at The Smith Center from September 11 to 29.
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