Wicked at the Orpheum Theatre is Fantastic – See It Before It Leaves Us, Again

Are you like me, are you living in the Bay Area and yet you almost made it through all the aughts without having seen the Greatest Play of the Aughts?

Wicked – tickets on sale now at the Orpheum Theatre – is not your grandfather’s Broadway-style musical. (Actually, your grandfather’s Broadway-style musical is called South Pacific and it features dorsal male nudity, singing sailors, and cross-dressing and it’s leaving the Golden Gate Theatre in just five short days on October 25th, 2009.)

Anywho, these days the way to get a smash hit musical is through the power of sisterhood and female empowerment. Fine. After all, “It’s the girls, stupid.”  But here’s the thing: Wicked is thoroughly enjoyable even if you’re not into sisterhood, empowerment ‘n stuff.

Teal Wicks (with belt!) as Elphaba and Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda. They both do a great job:


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So there I am looking at the spectacle that is the end of the first act, with the Green Witch singing about (and simultaneously) Defying Gravity, and I’m watching the dry ice vapor streaming down, cascading into the orchestra pit, and I’m thinking, “Well, this is something.”

Or, as some guy said:

“After the first act, I turned to my wife and said, ‘Wow, this is actually pretty good.'”

Quelle surprise,huh dude?

When you’re living in a town where Oktoberfest by the Bay costs $35 and all your entry fee gets you is the right to stand in line to get tokens to stand in line to get overpriced American beer to stand in line to look for a place to sit on the Dock of the Bay, it can be quite refreshing to see that you can get tickets to Wicked for $25 or $30, something like that.

El Teatro Grande de Orfeu en San Francisco:

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Find out why San Francisco feels like home for Wicked here. And here’s the Little Man review – he certainly seems pleased.

And check out the Yelpers – they just love, love, love the show. Now Yelpers, just for you, if you show up late don’t complain about the small TVs they make you watch as you wait 15 minutes to get seated. Really, you’re lucky they let you in during the first act at all.

(Speaking of seats, I’m six foot one and a ton a fun so it’s hard for me to set down in the old school Orpheum, San Francisco’s Elaborate Spanish Cathedral,without having one knee or the other bumping up against the metal seatbacks in front of me. Those seats were made for a thinner, shorter America. Oh well, I digress.)

Furthermore Yelpers, it’s not the Orpheum’s fault it’s hard to get a taxi after the show, it’s City policy right up there with “Transit First.” Find a buddy or two and just walk back to Union Square on Market Street – that might be quicker. Yelpers dismissed, carry on.

To recap: Fantastic, bargain, modern, amusing – it’s the greatest play of the aughts.

See you there!


(And don’t forget about the Behind the Emerald Curtain tour and the Halloween Spectacular at the ‘Zeum neither.)

All the deets:

“The Best Musical of the Year”
Time Magazine 

Winner of 3 Tony Awards®

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked follows these two unlikely friends and college roommates grow into very different women: The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. 

Based on the Novel by Gregory Maguire, the music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) with a Book by Winnie Holzman.

Directed by Joe Mantello
Musical Staging by Wayne Cilento
Scenic Design by Eugene Lee
Costume Design by Susan Hilferty
Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner
Sound Design by Tony Meola
Produced by Marc Platt, David Stone, Jon B. Platt 
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Winnie Holzman
Based on the Novel by Gregory Maguire

Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda
Teal Wicks as Elphaba
Patty Duke as Madame Morrible
David Garrison as The Wizard
Nicolas Dromard as Fiyero
Tom Flynn as Dr. Dillamond
Deedee Magno Hall as Nessarose
Eddy Rioseco as Boq

Audience:  Recommended age for children is 8 years and up. There is nothing of a vulgar or sexual nature, but there are adult themes. Everyone is required to have a ticket.  Children under 4 years of age will not be admitted into the Orpheum Theater.

Run time:  2 hrs 45 mins. (Act 1: 1 hour 30 mins / Act II: 1 hour) with one 15 minute intermission

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