Wicked Lucky

Today on a lark my bff and I went downtown to try for cheap Wicked tickets. For every show, there are a few tickets held back. The day of the show, they release the extra tickets in the form of a lottery. It’s pretty simple, but it requires a big time commitment. You have to show up 2 1/2 hours before the show, put your name in and wait 30 minutes for the drawing. Then, if your name is called, you can get up to 2 tickets for the performance.

So we went downtown. We figured our odds were good since the show was a 2pm matinee. If we didn’t get drawn, we’d at least have a nice lunch downtown and do a little shopping. We were the first people in line for the lottery. We waited. And during our waiting, we got pulled in to conversations with several single people also hoping to get drawn. One woman drove 2 hours after reading about the drawing online. She said she was off work and had nothing else to do. Another gentleman had been there the night before for the drawing, where he did not get picked.

At one minute to noon, we gathered around the little cage holding our names. The announcer went through his little ritual, including making all of us give three cheers of “there’s no place like home.” Which we all did, getting louder each time. The first name drawn belonged to a little boy who couldn’t be older than 6. He was really excited, but I could tell his folks were nervous–they had five people and only two tickets. My hopes dropped a little. But, he reached in, grabbed the next slip of paper and called my name. My bff started clapping and let out a very audible “yes!”

I went up to claim my buttons–the key to claiming my tickets. I also had to yell “Sweet Oz” which I did enthusiastically. We got our tickets and headed out for that lunch. We found a trendy cafe and it was tasty. They not only had four different kinds of chicken salad to pick from (I decided on fruited)*, but a SUPER  creamy spinach bacon soup**, and these amazingly moist cookies held together by a tasty creamy frosting.

After lunch we did a little shopping to kill the time. As we were walking back to the car to feed the meter, a small bundle of money blew right toward me. I caught it without really having to bend down. I looked around and there was only one family around. I did the right thing. I asked, but they hadn’t lost any cash, so I got to keep it. It was only $15, but it was $15 more than I had earlier that day.

As for the show itself, it was pretty darn spectacular. Our seats were stage right, second row. There was a slight blockage, but we were close enough to see many of the male actors (including Elphaba’s father) spit as they talked/sang. It was a little gross, but we got some great facial expressions. Plus, we got to see Fiyero, who was really cute, and reminded me of Mal from Firefly (dark hair, rakish good looks, tight pants, sleeves rolled up, extolling a carefree chaotic neutral  outside, but secretely harboring a fairly chaotic good, morally upstanding inside) very up close.

Aside from the hottie on the stage, the performance itself was great. Elphaba, played by Marcie Dodd has an AMAZING voice. It not only gave me chills at several moments, but it is one of those voices that reminds me my voice is just good enough to sing my kid lullabies, but falls so very short of genius that it slightly breaks my heart. The power of her peformance was inspiring and alleviated any worries I had about paying to see the show twice (I bought VERY pricey tickets about three months ago–way up in the balcony).

“For Good” has been going through my head ever since I left the theater, even when we got back to the car and found that despite being parked at the meter for over 3 hours (and those meters only allow up to 2 hours), we had no ticket. It was a GREAT day!

One little thing did disturb me though. As I was looking through the program, I noticed that Chistery, the head flying monkey who does a little flying and has one line, has two understudies. Now, I realize actors in a national touring company like this need understudies. Illnesses and fatigue get the best of even the greatest performers, but two understudies for the flying monkey? Really? Elphaba, one of the two leads (and by far the better), has one. How does she get one? If her understudy is out too, the show literally can’t go on, and yet a flying monkey who prances around in three scenes and has one line, has two people just waiting in the wings to take his place if he trips or gets a sore throat. Something seems a little odd there. Especially since you can’t even see the monkey’s face.

Although I love monkeys, I never realized how important they really are.

*I measure all new cafes by the quality of their chicken salad. While this was not the best in the city–Cafe Patachu–it was pretty good. Maybe a little too much fruit. I was hoping for some grapes, but those might have been they only fruit that wasn’t in the salad.

**I’m a sucker for anything with spinach. I just LOVE it.



Filed under entertainment, food, good days, Joss Whedon, movie references, my friends, ramblings, the arts, what makes me me

3 responses to “Wicked Lucky

  1. 1) Congratulations
    2) Is the Cafe Patachou still “trendy”? Or did you go to their spin off cafe that was reviewed in Nuvo last week?
    3) a) the understudy for either of the two leads would be paid a much higher fee but I feel the real reason for two understudies for that role is that b) because of the tumbling and flying the monkey is more likely to get hurt and need a day or two to recover for realz. thus two understudies because the first understudy, being nervous and unpracticed is liable to not only get hurt but also experience additional soreness.

  2. beetqueen

    1) thanks, it was an awesome day
    2) I meant that Cafe Patachou has the best chicken salad in the city. The cafe we went to was not Patachou…I can’t remember it’s name
    3) There were multiple flying monkeys, Chistery was just the only one who had a line. I’m guessing that his understudies are probably the other monkeys–only three of them actually “fly,” the others just did some acrobatics.

    I did realize later that Elphaba has an understudy and a standby. The standbys name was in a different (read better) place on the program. I’m not sure what the difference is.

    • David Abad

      The distinction between a standby and an understudy is usually that an understudy is in the cast while a standby is not — i.e., the standby’s only duty is to stand by in case the usual performer doesn’t make it to a performance.

      And another thought about why that tiny role might require two understudies: the usual performer for that role may be an understudy for a larger role, and one or both of his understudies may also be understudies for larger roles, so that more than one absence in larger roles in the company could quickly add up to no coverage for this role if there were only one understudy.

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