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Wicked Day 2007


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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 11:04 AM

Wicked is a very unusual show in a lot of ways. Not only did it score a West End first by bringing the main star from Broadway over to open the show and train our current Elphaba, but it's also managed to defy many of it's early critics by dogged word of mouth from fans.

But most importantly, it seems to be willing to reach out to it's fans in a far more substantial way than most musicals. Wicked Day is a good example of that. It started last year, with a bunch of the cast getting together with a bunch of the fans for charity and to have a good time. It gave fans a chance to dress up as their favorite characters, to have a chance to sing their favorite songs, and to engage in all sorts of Wicked related sillyness.

It was also considered a huge success. So much so that they did it again this year, bringing out no less than three of the principals and several of the ensemble cast members to spedn part of a wet and dreary sunday doing everything from hosting a quiz, to teaching acting masterclasses, to completely random stuff like bringing out James Gillan to draw raffle tickets.

Loads of folks, myself not least of which, with more enthusiasm than musical talent signed up for a competition with a chance to win a walk on role (and how many musicals offer that, which is probably the holy grail of prizes for most fans) we ran around collecting monkey tokens and tried desperately to remember if Glinda had 21 or 22 sets of shoes in her closet during one of the scenes.

I got to make some new friends, got to meet some really neat folk, and managed to have a chat with the first person I ever wrote a fanletter too, who is in the ensemble of wicked, which was very cool for me.

I also won a raffle for the first time, well that I can recall since I was about nine.

It also brought home not just how unusual the relationship is between Wicked and it's fans, but just how strong. One of the girls I was chatting to had flown over from Norway the day before to come to Wicked Day. I've spoken to fans at the show who've come over from Germany and Ireland and even the Czech Republic just to see the show.

And the cast seems to appreciate the loyalty it's fans show, by coming out for these sorts of things, for spending a truly inordinate amount of time talking to fans at stage door and signing stuff and getting their pictures taken. I fondly recall at one point one of the cast members who was trying to pop out for a bite to eat between a matinee and an evening performance ended up not getting anything because he spent the entire interrim chatting to fans outside the theater.

So, Wicked Day 2007, a big success in my book. and while it probably doesn't qualify as a convention per-se, that's esentially how it functioned. A big gathering of fans, getting together with some of the cast and having fun.

And isn't that what Con's are all about :D

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#2 Raeven

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 03:48 AM

It sounds like a good time was had by all Gode :)


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#3 BklnScott

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 07:11 PM

View PostGodeskian, on Oct 29 2007, 12:04 PM, said:

Wicked is a very unusual show in a lot of ways. Not only did it score a West End first by bringing the main star from Broadway over to open the show and train our current Elphaba, but it's also managed to defy many of it's early critics by dogged word of mouth from fans.

That's a first?  Might be dating myself here, but Anthony Rapp did the same with Rent about 10 years ago.  

Are you a Rent-head, too?  How 'bout Avenue Q?  Sondheim?

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#4 Godeskian

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 02:03 AM

View PostScottEVill, on Oct 31 2007, 12:11 AM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on Oct 29 2007, 12:04 PM, said:

Wicked is a very unusual show in a lot of ways. Not only did it score a West End first by bringing the main star from Broadway over to open the show and train our current Elphaba, but it's also managed to defy many of it's early critics by dogged word of mouth from fans.

That's a first?  Might be dating myself here, but Anthony Rapp did the same with Rent about 10 years ago.  

He did? I haven't been able to find anything in his bio that suggest he's done Rent in the West End.

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Are you a Rent-head, too?  How 'bout Avenue Q?  Sondheim?

Seen Rent once, loved it. Seen Rent Remixed with Denise Van Outen and loathed both her and the remix. Love Avenue Q as probably one of the funniest and most cynical musicals I've ever seen. Not something I'd necesarrily want to go watch every other week or anything, but it's a brilliant show. (did you see my review of the show from a month or two back?)

Sondheim, I'm very much of two minds of. Into the Woods is brilliant, and a funny thing happened on the way to the forum is very funny, but I detest west side story in a way that i detest very few musicals.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#5 BklnScott

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 07:23 AM

Well, here's a bit of an article.  You have to pay for the rest, but the relevant bit is in the non-pay portion.  

I wouldn't call West Side Story "a Sondheim musical" as he just contributed lyrics.  (And though I do kind of like WSS, from a contemporary perspective, it's a little ... uncomfortable, shall we say?)  

Will respond to the rest (PM, etc) tongiht.  Gotta run!

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#6 Godeskian

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 11:15 AM

View PostScottEVill, on Oct 31 2007, 12:23 PM, said:

Well, here's a bit of an article.  You have to pay for the rest, but the relevant bit is in the non-pay portion.

Neat, in that case consider my statement suitably amended. However it's still a very unusual step to bring anyone over from the US to headline a show in the West End. Wicked might not have been the first, but they did receive a lot of notice in paper reviews, and in Stage for having done so.

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I wouldn't call West Side Story "a Sondheim musical" as he just contributed lyrics.  (And though I do kind of like WSS, from a contemporary perspective, it's a little ... uncomfortable, shall we say?)

Yeah, that's one way to put it :p

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Will respond to the rest (PM, etc) tongiht.  Gotta run!

There is no rush. It's months yet before I come to the big apple.

Defy Gravity!


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#7 BklnScott

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:14 PM

^^^Just so you know, you had "stick to your own kind" bouncing around my head all day.  "A boy like that, who'd kill your brother...  Forget that boy and find another, One of your own kind!  Stick to your own kind![/quote]

You just cannot knok Rita Moreno...  And I want to amend the "kind of like West Side Story" bit... I *really* like West Side Story, always have -- screw the discomfort.  Like it's the first quasi-racist musical.  

(Have you seen Drowsy Chaperone, BTW?  Not sure if it's over there yet.)

ETA: Just realized Rita Moreno didn't sing that song... :blush:  *Bad* theater queen, BAD!

Edited by ScottEVill, 31 October 2007 - 08:56 PM.

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#8 Josh

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:41 PM

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Sondheim, I'm very much of two minds of. Into the Woods is brilliant, and a funny thing happened on the way to the forum is very funny, but I detest west side story in a way that i detest very few musicals.

As Scott said, you can blame Leonard Bernstein for "West Side Story." :p As for Sondheim, if you haven't checked out "Sunday in the Park With George" and "Sweeney Todd", you really should.
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#9 Godeskian

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 05:30 AM

View PostJosh, on Oct 31 2007, 11:41 PM, said:

As Scott said, you can blame Leonard Bernstein for "West Side Story." :p As for Sondheim, if you haven't checked out "Sunday in the Park With George" and "Sweeney Todd", you really should.

Can't say I've heard of the first one, and I know the second isn't currently playing in London, but I think that one of the theater-groups in Luton is planning to do Sweeney Todd once they're done with Joseph early next year.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.



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