icked has been defying gravity — and the odds — ever since it premiered in 2005 at Broadway’s Gershwin Theater. It’s still there, having passed 5,200 performances. Meanwhile, touring companies have taken this wonderfully witchy extravaganza across the U.S. and to 13 other countries, wowing audiences from Stuttgart to Singapore, from Sydney to Seoul. More than 50 million people have seen Wicked, which is the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season option for 2016-17. The show is the winner of over 100 international major awards, including a Grammy and three Tonys. Season options — additional shows that aren’t part of the standard series package — are usually booked for only a handful of performances. Wicked, however, will set up shop in the Walt Disney Theater for 17 days, January 11-29, 2017. Even so, don’t expect tickets to be easy to get. When the show last came to Orlando, in 2013, it filled every seat in the Bob Carr Theater for a similarly generous run. Though it’s universally referred to as Wicked, the show’s full name is Wicked, the Untold Story of the Witches of Oz. With a script by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Wicked is a reimagining of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. That 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire was loosely based on the L. Frank Baum children’s fantasy, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1909. The show, for the most part, takes place before Dorothy drops in, and explores the formative years of Elphaba, the “bad” witch, who’s bullied because her skin is green; and Glinda, the “good” witch, who’s both entitled and a bit of an airhead. Part of Wicked’s enduring appeal is its affirmation that all of us have more potential than we realize. After all, as a popular ’70s-era pop song summarized it, Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have. And, of course, there’s the lavish, if slightly off-kilter, Edwardian costuming and the mind-blowing special effects, highlighted by the appearance of a dragon with a wingspan comparable to that of a Cessna. Beginning in late October, tickets were offered to Dr. Phillips Center Members, groups and season subscribers. Now they're on sale to the general public, with prices starting at $42.75. But you need to act quickly due to strong demand. After all, who knows when Wicked will come this way again? — Michael McLeod
Event: Wicked, the Untold Story of the Witches of Oz Shows/Dates: January 11-29, 2017 Venue: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: The Broadway blockbuster is the 2016-17 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season option. tickets: Tickets, priced starting at $42.75, may be purchased online at drphillipscenter.org, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or noon and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. For groups of 10 or more, email Group Sales at email@example.com or call 407.455.5550.
artsLife | WINTER 2016