Something ‘Wicked’ is coming this way

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 6:23pm
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Helene Yorke as Glinda and Marcie Dodd as Elphaba in ‘Wicked.’  

Another scorching summer in Nashville, and the only thing hotter than the temperature are the ticket sales for Wicked, which comes to TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall Sept. 2-20.

And while the highly anticipated engagement is more than six weeks away, it’s not too early to secure your tickets to what The New York Times called “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster.”

So what’s the secret behind this Wicked success? According to Marilyn Caskey, who plays Madame Morrible in the show, it’s something quite “magical.”

“There’s a very universal appeal — it appeals to all ages and backgrounds,” she said. “It explores universal themes, but in a way that people not only can relate to a certain character or situation, but also be inspired by them.

“It really is quite a phenomenon,” she added. “And it seems the more people who are exposed to the show, the more that phenomenon continues to grow.”

For the uninitiated, Wicked gives us a very different view of the land of Oz — long before Dorothy ever dropped in. The plot centers on Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, and her unlikely friendship with Glinda, Good Witch of the North.

Featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (television’s My So-Called Life, Once and Again and thirtysomething), it is based on Gregory Maguire’s best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

The musical debuted on Broadway on Oct. 30, 2003 and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning three. Since then, Wicked has generated successful productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Melbourne (to name a few), as well as two North American tours.

“We’ve been breaking box office records,” Caskey said. “We have people coming back repeatedly — checking out different companies and seeing the show in different cities. There’s a very particular enthusiasm that comes with this show, and that makes it so much fun to be part of.”

What: Wicked
When: Sept. 2-20
Where: Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall, 505 Deaderick St.
Cost: $45-$130
Info: 255-ARTS, tpac.org/wicked, ticketmaster.com, wickedthemusical.com
• Recommended for ages 8 and up

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