The land of Oz returns to the Proctors stage with “Wicked”

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –The Capital Region is returning to the Land of Oz, as the Broadway sensation “Wicked” once again graces the Proctors Theater stage for a two-week run.

“Wicked,” which the New York Times called “the defining musical of the decade,” is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz. The plot begins before and continues after Dorothy’s famous arrival in Oz from Kansas.

Long before Dorothy arrives, the show begins with another misunderstood girl named Elphaba who is born with emerald-green skin and a number of special talents.

She meets a young blonde, Glinda” and their initial rivalry over the same love-interest and different reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government eventually gives way to the unlikeliest of friendships.

The world intervenes, however, and one becomes a good witch and the other wicked.

Of the 130 people on the “Wicked” production team, 70 are local.

Before making the trip to the Capital Region, “Wicked” had just wrapped up a run on Sunday in Tampa. With only a few days before the show opens in Schenectady, there is a lot of work to be done.

It takes five hours to pack up all the equipment for the show. Once it all arrives at Proctors, the production crew gets to work unloading and setting up the 13 tractor-trailers of lights, set pieces, and cables.

But the setup is not the only piece of preparation that needs to happen in the next few days.

“This afternoon we have orchestra rehearsal, wardrobe, hair and makeup and the cast,” said company manager Steve Quinn, “And then we start performances on Wednesday. It’s fast. It’s kind of organized chaos, really.”

Quinn says equipment breaks and wardrobes tear, but that’s all to be expected when you’re re-setting a major production every two weeks. But no matter what happens, the show must go on.

“Our director Joe Mantello said at one point that if you take the “Wizard of Oz” and you move the camera about 10 feet in either direction, that’s our story,” said Quinn. “We kind of tell you what happened before Dorothy dropped in.”

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