Opinion: Wicked returns to the Saroyan

March 23, 2019

“Wicked,” the musical, will play a return engagement in Fresno through March 31, celebrating its 15th anniversary season.

 

The show is part of the Broadway in Fresno series at the Saroyan Theater. 

 

The show runs nightly through March 31 with weekend matinees staged at 2 p.m. on March 22, 1 p.m. on March 23, 2 p.m. March 30 and at 1 p.m. on March 31.

 

Evening performances are 8 p.m., March 23, 7:30 p.m. March 24, the production is dark on March 25, 7:30 p.m., March 26, 27, 28, 8 p.m., March 29 and 30 and 6:30 p.m. March 31.

 

The show is a retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz story from an entirely different perspective.

 

The show is set to open March 26, with weekend matinees staged on March 26, 27, 30 and 31. The production is dark on Monday.

 

A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of orchestra seats is held before each performance. Two and a half hours prior to the performance, people may submit their names at the box office to be placed in a lottery drum; 30 minutes later, names will be drawn for seats at $25 each, cash only. This lottery is available only in-person with a limit of two tickets per person. Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and when purchasing tickets.

 

As of press time, there were still full price tickets available for all remaining performances. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for price and availability.

 

The musical is a prequel to the stories of L. Frank Baum and tells how the witches of Oz develop their personalities attending college. The show runs two and a half hours and employs local musicians to augment its touring orchestra.

 

Celebrating more than 15 years on Broadway the story is based on the novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” by Gregory Maguire. The award-winning musical tells the story of the early days of Glinda the Good Witch and a pair of sisters who grow into the Wicked Witches of the East and West.

 

The show debut on Broadway on Oct. 30, 2003, the eve of Halloween.

 

The underlining message of isolation and diversity comes from the perspective of the lead characters. One is blond and pretty in pink the other is a brunette and with a green complexion.

“Thrown together as unwilling roommates at The University of Shiz, initially the beautiful, blonde and effervescent Glinda clash with the fiery, misunderstood, green-skinned Elphaba.

 

Facing various challenges in their experiences, they learn to put their differences aside and form an unexpected bond that stays with them for years to come, despite the political and magical upheaval that engulfs Oz. It is an uplifting and affirming adventure that journeys way below the skin and the heart of life according to promotional material for the show.

 

Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz with the book by Winnie Holzman features dance routines by choreographer Wayne Clento. Produced by Marc Platt and Dave Stone, “Wicked” won three Tony awards, produced a Grammy-winning soundtrack and more than 100 international awards. Worldwide, the Wicked touring companies have played 100 cities in 16 countries and translated into six languages. It has grosseded $4.6 billion and been seen by 60 million people.

 

The cast includes Mariand Torres as Elphaba, Erin Mackey as Glinda, Curt Hansen as Fiyero, Tom Flynn as Doctor Dillamond, Sharon Sachs as Madame Morrible and Jason Graae as The Wizard.

 

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

 

• • •

 

Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter

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