Posts Tagged ‘Wicked’

What is this feeling? I think it’s called obsession.

July 14, 2010

by Amy McLeod
July 14, 2010

“You deserve each other, this hat and you.  You’re both so…smart.”

I can’t tell you how many times those lyrics from the Wicked song “Dancing through Life” have been on repeat in my head this summer.  Mind you, I had never seen the show and I had no context for the lyrics.  One of my roommates is a Wicked fanatic and would play the songs incessantly. After awhile, they just stuck.

There was a lot of build up to Wicked.  I’ve been hearing about since high school, when one of my best friends became obsessed.  Now, I can hardly walk into my New School dorm without hearing one of the many amazing songs.

Having heard so much about Wicked made me that much more excited to see the show.  I wanted to know who was singing the songs.  What were they talking about? And what in the world caused the feelings of unadulterated loathing?

I’ve never been a huge fan of “The Wizard of Oz” so I was a little nervous about seeing Wicked.  I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to hype that surrounded it.  But, I am happy to report that this uncertainty was completely unwarranted.  I was taken aback by the scale of the show and how magnificent the performances were.  Katie Rose Clark as Glinda and Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba were amazing.  The costumes were intricate and the scenery made the audience believe it was in Oz with the two witches.

Following the show, we were able to check out the stage.  There was scenery stored on either side, above and below the stage.  We say where some costume changes take place and the tracks where the scenery comes into and off of the stage.  We saw where Elphaba gets her green make up touched up between acts and where the munchkin heads hang when they’re not being worn.  It was an insiders look at what takes place behind the scenes of a Broadway production.

After I got back from the show last night, I went straight to youtube.com and watched scenes from the show over and over…and over.

I think it’s safe to say that I have a full-blown case of Wicked fever.

“Anything less than 87% is Fraud-way”

July 14, 2010

by Amy McLeod
July 13, 2010

I love Broadway.  I don’t (or should I say, didn’t) know a thing about it, but I love it.  It is a magical thing to watch a plain, wooden stage transformed into a story and I can’t help but let myself fall into it.

Costumes, lighting, actors, props, music, etc.  The show cannot exist without each of these elements.  No matter how minuscule one may seem, they are all crucial aspects and add something that the show needs.

I didn’t realize how true this was until our visits on Monday.  From seeing the intricate detail that goes into every stage of the costuming process at William Ivey Long‘s studio to hearing about the daily preparation and repairs that our panelists spoke about to seeing the stories and stories of practice space, workshops and costume storage that exist at the Metropolitan Opera.

I would have never suggested that putting together a Broadway production was any small task, but I could have never imagined just how much goes into each and every performance.  One thing that was consistent with all of those we spoke with was their love for it.

It’s hard work and long hours. It requires going on the road for weeks at a time.  There are hours of rehearsal and shows on holidays.  It isn’t always secure work or the extremely lucrative.  But, when the curtain rises and the show begins, it makes all the work well worth it.

All of those who work on the shows understand the importance of each other.  While the actors on stage get most of the glory as they are the faces of the show, they are supportive of the crew that works backstage.  When IATSE, the union for professional stagehands, motion pictures technicians and allied crafts went on strikes, the actors were holding signs and protesting with them.  The show won’t succeed without all of these people, so they must work together and support each other.

We were able to go backstage after seeing Wicked and speak with Lindsay K. Northern who has a role in the ensemble as well as the understudy for Glinda.  She said “anything less that 87 percent is Fraud-way.”  If those working on the show aren’t able to give at least that much, they are detracting from the performance.  But, luckily for us viewers, most of the time, these people are happy to give 110 percent and we get to see an amazing show.