We caught Wicked on Monday. One of my trapeze friends had flown with one of the props manager working for the current production playing in Chicago, and she said that she could bring us backstage for a tour if we went for a show.
Both Jeff and I had seen Wicked before, separately. When I had gone, it was using rush tickets – $25 for side orchestra seats with only a very partial view of the stage. I’d quite enjoyed it then.
I’ve to admit though, opera has spoilt me (K agrees too, after all, we caught that outstanding Traviata together). I found the amplified orchestra and singing much too jarring, and the singers had a tendency to screech their way through the high notes. Gah. That aside, we enjoyed the campiness of it all.
The highlight of the evening for us was the backstage tour R brought us on. We lingered in our seats for her to fetch us after most of the audience had trickled out. We were quite surprised to see how cozy it was backstage. Compared to backstage at the Lyric and the Met, the wings were really narrow and stacked overhead and underfoot with props. The singers had no dressing rooms, but two curtained-off areas directly behind the stage, one for males and one for females, filled with the dozens of super expensive custom-made dresses and wigs.
R even showed us how she manually operates the talking Oz-head on stage. It’s a beast of a prop!
Fun evening. We exited backstage through a couple of doors and viola, we were in the snowy alley between Dearborn and State.