How do you measure a show?

Wicked Road Cases - and lots of them!

Wicked Road Cases - and lots of them!

There are many ways to measure the worth of something big and expansive, like a year – Sunrises, Sunsets (Fiddler); Frogs and Toads (Year of Frog and Toad); 525,600 minutes (Rent)… but “how do you measure, measure a… 3+ Year Run of Wicked!?” (sing it with me now!) “In wizards? In monkeys? In green face paint? In belting witches…? In scarecrows? In time clocks? In changes for good”…? But, enumerating lists aside, the unprecedented long-run of Wicked has certainly left its mark on Chicago theatre. As the curtain went down on the Oriental Theatre stage on January 25, we all felt as though it was the end of an era. As the production associate for Broadway In Chicago, I help to facilitate the shows leaving the theatre. Every show must end, every show must leave. This is the transient nature of the performing arts. However, after a production has been in the building for over 3 years, the process changes a bit. Usually, a show that has a 2 week run in one of our theatres will pack up all of their things and restore the theatre to its original condition in “one short day”! Sometimes within just a few hours! Wicked, on the other hand will be unearthing itself from our space for an entire week (expect blog post #2) and then we will take another week to restore the theatre to appear as though Wicked has never been there (expect blog post #3).

Nederlander Way

Nederlander Way

So, when all is said and done… when Wicked has left the loop… what remains? Certainly Broadway In Chicago will be here! We are not missing a beat, presenting Chicago in that same space just weeks after Wicked leaves. Our house crew (carpenters, electricians, engineers, ushers) are used to seeing shows come and go (this one just took a long time to go!). And, of course, we’ll still have the Oriental Theatre, which itself has a rich and vibrant history (expect blog post #4!).

Until next time…when I am in a basement office at the Oriental Theatre…watching 15 trucks get loaded with floating bubbles, Oz Heads and black hats…OH MY!

-Stephanie, Production Associate


1 Comment

Filed under Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, Wicked

One response to “How do you measure a show?

  1. Debbie Harland

    Measure it in the lives it changed … those in the cast, those who sat in the audience…. those who have the message along with the lyrics forever printed on their hearts… for Wicked did more than break box office records – it changed people For Good. Repeatedly I drove up from another state to savor Wicked, and I will follow it to other cities till hopefully one day the green girl returns to the windy city.

    The Chicago cast was my first introduction to this legendary story in August of 2007, and will always hold a special place in my memories. Wicked sparked the discovery of personal strengths long buried. Although I know it may seem odd to some that actors on a stage can so inspire changes in life,but isn’t that often the way of inspirations as that unexpected source shining to light our paths when things seem dark. This time the light just happened to be green.

    “I’m flying high defying gravity… and nobody in all of Oz… no wizard that there is or was is ever gonna bring me down!”

    Keep flying high Elphaba… and thank you to all the Chicago cast till next time.

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