It's not easy being green

July 13, 2006 by barbara

by barbara

Scored tickets to last night's opening performance of "Wicked." Not that hard to do, actually. A good friend is the local producer, and we got four tickets in the fifth row, center.

Okay, the preceding was a big, fat lie. We played the ticket game along with all the other little people. Here's how it works.

The day that tickets go on sale to the Munchkins, you perch by your phone like a gargoyle. At zero hour less five seconds, you dial. Then you redial, redial, redial. Busy, busy, busy. By zero hour plus three minutes, you learn that the tickets are sold out. All of them. For the entire run. Wow. Other gargoyles are more clever than we.

But wait! All is not lost. Turns out some deeply caring folks bought huge blocks of tickets before they went on public sale. I guess they didn't want anyone to be disappointed.

So you check out some sites. Find one in California and try not to let that bother you. In one swell foop, you have purchased four tickets, each one costing roughly triple its face value. For back-row seats. In a theater immensely challenged re: sufficiency of women's restrooms (oh, there's a surprise!). Voila! Is this a great country or what?

Okay, got that off my chest. Maybe.

In spite of the ticket scam, Wicked was great good fun. Enchanting, one might say. They took some liberties with Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name. But those changes worked pretty well for a live, musical comedy production. Didn't walk out humming any of the tunes, but maybe if I listen to the score, I will some day.

Wicked is a study in contrasts, start to finish. Rich/poor. Blonde/brunette. Good/evil. Integrity/greed. Light/dark. Smart/not so smart. White/green. There's an ongoing undercurrent of social commentary, framed in the kingdom of Oz in some long-ago time. You could pluck out a fair amount of it, change a few names, and apply it to the kingdom of George in 2006.

Not going for the Roger Ebert thing here. Wicked was a good read. It has morphed into a great stage production. I read somewhere that it's coming back to the Twin Cities at some future time. Check it out. And if you figure out how to beat the system, would you let me know, please and thank you?

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