The Orange County Performing Arts Center is rejoicing this year, as center president Terry Dwyer prepares for what he calls “our more eclectic season yet,” to the LA Times. The lineup of the 2010- 2011 Broadway and Curtain Call productions for the company include the new show by Cirque du Soleil, “Mary Poppins,” “Hair” and “Wicked.” All shows are set to perform at the center’s Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, opening with the Broadway series October 123-14 with the Tony Bartlett Sher revival “South Pacific.” Like every other touring Broadway company, each show is presented with its own company in tow and will fill the season with joy and excitement. Next comes the few detail Cirque du Soleil feature from December 7-26, which Dwyer describes as something that will work better in a theater rather than their typical tent. “Hair,” performs January 25 – February 6th, with “Wicked” returning March 9th through April 3rd. The story of the Wicked Witch of the West and her roommate from college Glinda the Good Witch previously performed at the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa in 2006 and broke box office records. Why the return, and so soon after it’s last performance? For Dwyer, “people let us know they really wanted to see it again.”
Have you been wondering what’s going on in the world of Oz lately? If so, then check out The Wicked website, where everything from tickets sales to national events, products and more are available at your fingertips. From special insider tips – like a quote from the new (or rather returning) Elphaba Eden Espinosa who said “I want to thank everyone who sent me words of encouragement and love for my first week back in Oz. I love this show so much and the way it speaks to people. It’s because of your support and same love for Wicked that I can’t stay away for too long. SO THANK YOU AGAIN, for everything. It means the world to me!” Updates on the event schedule are always included, from fun challenges and special Oz days to the show’s touring schedule. For example, on March 21st the city of Miami will see it’s final performance in the area, as Wicked moves on to New Orleans by March 24th. On April 5th the New Orleans show will celebrate with “Our Wicked, Wicked Ways” at 7:30pm, while recently San Francisco had a special event on March 12th.
If you not only want to win a trip to London but also show your support for the long running West End play in voting for it to win the Olivier “Audience Award,” check out Wicked’s show on Facebook today. The show was shortlisted for London’s Laurence Olivier Award and has now been created just for the true, Wicked fans. With the award at their fingertip, they couldn’t help but give away a sweet prize for the effort. Just for voting, fans can win a roundtrip airfare for four, four tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, two nights hotel accommodations and a special behind the scenes meet and greet.
Just a few weeks into her new (and former) role of Elphaba, Eden Espinosa couldn’t be more happy she returned to San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre. Espinosa has previously played the green colored witch in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Broadway, with other roles in Liza Minnelli’s “Flora the Red Menace,” and “Rent!,” as well as the lead in “Brooklyn the Musical” on Broadway. Espinosa opened with Kendra Kassebaum as her counterpart, Glinda the Good Witch.
According to WKBW and the Los Angeles Times, a new “Wizard of Oz” is in the works, set to remake the 1939 Judy Garland film with Warner Bros. producers, and a script from the “Shrek Forever After” screenwriter. The new film isn’t going to go fully into the remake mold, as it is said to follow the granddaughter of Dorothy who must return to Oz to fight evil. Disney, meanwhile, is also developing their own story titled “Brick,” a feature that would follow the Wizard and his trials before his come to Oz.
Meanwhile, critics are pondering the affects all these “Wizard of Oz” remakes will have on the Broadway musical “Wicked,” which follows the two witches of Oz before Dorothy ever drops in. The show remains Broadway’s top grossing musical of all time since opening in 2003, and has had talks over the years to bring the story to the silver screen. Universal Pictures has had a stake in the Broadway show, though no formal moves have been made.
No matter the type of the story that comes to the silver screen, “Wicked” is going to last much longer on the stage.
Former Elphaba and original star of the Broadway musical Wicked Idina Menzel is set to perform at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts July 31st with the Boston Pops Espalanade Orchestra. The star of “Rent” and “Wicked” who recently birthed her first son with actor husband Taye Diggs has also joined the cast of “Glee,” the new Fox sitcom hit show about the geeky musical singing group of glee. Menzel was the first actress to star as Elphaba in the Gregory Maguire adapted play “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch.” The show, which opened several years ago, first opened in San Francisco before moving to Broadway. As the Wicked Witch, Menzel would have to be painted daily in order to get the green hue the broom flying witch was so famous for. The tickets for the event range from $29 to $89, though if you’re really interested in seeing something Wicked, don’t simply check out Idina Menzel’s performance. The show is currently running through March 21st at the Ziff Ballet Opera House – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. It hits Richmond, Virginia next, at the Landmark Theater, while also playing on Broadway and San Francisco.
As producers, writers, directors and all those in the movie biz continue to see success from the often critically un-acclaimed Broadway musical “Wicked,” one thing comes to mind – when can they make it our. With international openings, nationwide tours and staples in New York City, San Francisco and others, the prequel to the “Wizard of Oz” has been hailed by the fans as the best that there is – so what is the next step for big conglomerates? Remake the film that got it there. Based off the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch by Gregory Maguire, the show has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, an often criticized writer who hasn’t been able to keep his hold on Broadway critics, though he’s seen two successful shows. With Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” doing well at the box office as well, plans to redo the Judy Garland and her furry/tin/straw friends could be a real possibility, reports USA Today. The 1939 classic and first color film has already seen new options via Universal and Disney, with four in the works possibly. ”Some critics may bray, but if it’s done well, the movie could be kind of brilliant, a deepening of the mythology that started withThe Wiz and continued with Wicked,” say Times reporters Steven Zeitchik and Claudia Eller. Universal owns Wicked, the musical, while Times reports that Warner Bros. might look at a darker Dorothy.
There are many plays that entertain throughout each city’s Broadway run – but no other play gets as much attention or fanfare as Wicked. With enthusiastic patrons attending the show twice, third times or sometimes over a dozen, the Orpheum Theater this year is sure to get a serious boost in income when the Wicked headlines for the 2010-2011 Broadway season. During last summer’s Wicked run at the Orpheum 57,575 people saw the show – selling out 99% of the tickets in its first week. The show was the most successful for the theater in 30 years, and helped to boost the local economy when it brought in a near estimated $7 million for its first run, reports Biz Journals. Now, the show is opening up again with the Broadway season. Here’s the schedule, for those interested in seeing something other than the famous prequel to the Wizard of Oz:
The Color Purple: August 24-29, 2010
• Wicked: Oct. 13-31, 2010
• 9 to 5 the Musical: Nov. 2-7, 2010
• Dreamgirls: Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 2010
• Shrek the Musical: Jan. 18-23, 2011
• Young Frankenstein: March 8-13, 2011
• Monty Python’s Spamalot: May 6-8, 2011
• Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: June 14-19, 2011
Wicked is coming to Charlotte for a limited engagement and tickets are set to be on sale from 7 to 19am at the Bluementhal Performing Arts Center Box office on Friday, March 19th. The distribution is a special event for those buyers who are looking for a special deal and some of the best tickets available, reports Broadway World. In addition, it isn’t just about standing in line waiting for the prize (as nothing in Oz is ever simple), as several local radio and television stations will be present along with food, fun and games. If you can’t make it to the event, check out the tickets at other arenas, including the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s website or phone (704-372-1000).
The performance schedule includes:
Wednesday, May 19 – 7:30 P.M. Tuesday, May 25- 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, May 20 – 2 P.M. Wednesday, May 26- 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, May 20 – 7:30 P.M. Thursday, May 27- 7:30 P.M.
Friday, May 21 – 8 P.M. Friday, May 28 – 8 P.M.
Saturday, May 22- 2 P.M. Saturday, May 29 – 2 P.M.
Saturday, May 22- 8 P.M. Saturday, May 29 – 8 P.M.
Sunday, May 23 – 2 P.M. Sunday, May 30 – 2 P.M.
Sunday, May23 – 7:30 P.M. Sunday, May 30 – 7:30 P.M.
Tuesday, June 1 – 7:30 P.M. Tuesday, June 8- 7:30 P.M.
Wednesday, June 2 – 7:30 P.M. Wednesday, June 9- 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, June 3- 7:30 P.M. Thursday, June 10- 7:30 P.M.
Friday, June 4 – 8 P.M Friday, June 11- 8 P.M.
Saturday, June 5 – 2 P.M. Saturday, June 12- 2 P.M.
Saturday, June 5 – 8 P.M Saturday, June 12- 8 P.M.
Sunday, June 6- 2 P.M Sunday, June 13- 2 P.M.
Sunday, June 6 – 7:30 P.M. Sunday, June 13- 7:30 P.M.
Whats on Stage has just announced that several West End musicals have extended their run on the stage. “Blood Brothers,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked,” the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best West End Show, has just announced that they are extended their run. The Apollo Victoria will see Wicked’s performance for another six months and will be booked now until April 30, 2011. The show first opened on London’s West End in September 2006 and picked up Whatsonstage.com Awards with the top four of the evening, including Best New Musical. Just four years later it picked up the Best West End Show for the longer running features.
Everyone knows the story written by Winnie Holtzman that is based on the Gregory Maguire novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.” The story also features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and is directed by Joe Mantello. Beginning at the end of this month (March 29th), the London company is expected to be run by Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Louise Dearman as Glinda. Actor Lee Mead of “Any Dream Will Do” plays Fiyero beginning May 10th.
For many cities, hearing about a Broadway play is one thing – to actually get the traveling show in their own town is another. And for Richmond, that time has finally come as the Broadway blockbuster has hit the Landmark Theater this week, opening up Wednesday, March 10 and running through Sunday, March 19th. The short program is set to revive the theater’s annual Broadway season, as the Richmond paper is eager to hear more about the play from one of their own.
After earning Broadway’s longest running show title in history, happening this past December, the touring show has been landing in some landmark theaters recently for longer performances. The Richmond stage will get Wicked for 19 days – the longest running Broadway show to ever stay in Richmond, reports the California Chronicle. The show has become the top rated Broadway picture, and not just because it’s wildly entertaining. The piece has been getting mainstream attention all over the place, which helps to keep this long running show a staple in people’s short attention spans – from former and first Elphaba star Idina Menzel hitting television’s popular show ‘Glee’ to touring productions across all cities – it isn’t surprising.