“Wicked” has flown on over to Las Vegas, NV, for a six-week run on the Reynolds Hall stage at the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, as a part of a national tour. “Wicked” opened for the Smith Center’s first full-length Broadway season on August 29 and it will run until October 7, 2012. The show has broken box office records across the nation and they will mostly likely be a green success in Vegas too.
The spellbinding production is based on the 1995 novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire which was spiraled off of L. Frank Baum’s children’s story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. “Wicked” tells the untold story of the time before Dorothy landed in Munchkinland. The story follows the unlikely friendship between two witches — Glinda, the popular blonde, and the misunderstood green-skinned Elphaba.
“Wicked” stars Patti Murin as Glinda the Good and Nicole Parker in the role of Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West. The supporting cast includes: Kim Zimmer (Madame Morrible), Cliffton Hall (Fiyero), Tom McGowan (the Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and Demaree Hill (Nessarose). The stage adaptation was written by Winnie Holzman. Joe Mantello is the director of the production. Music and lyrics is by Stephen Schwartz. Eugene Lee is the scenic designer.
“Wicked” was booked two years ago, while the Smith Center was still being built.
“We’ve been waiting for you to have a performing arts center so we could come to Las Vegas,” said David Stone the producer of “Wicked” back in 2010 announcing the booking, as noted on LVRJ.com. Two years later, the production made its way to Las Vegas from Salt Lake City with the aid of a dozen trailers and a more than 100 member crew.
The Smith Center is a Perfuming Arts Center, which opened in March 2012. Reynolds Hall is the center’s main performance venue with 2,050 seats and a full orchestra pit for 100 musicians. The Smith Center is also home to the Cabaret Jazz theatre, and the Troesh Studio Theatre made for rehearsals and children’s theater, as well as The Lied Discovery Children’s Museum.
Patti Murin, the good witch said, “When the cast walked in for the very first day, we couldn’t believe our eyes at how gorgeous this theater is and how wonderful it is to play this city for the first time. It’s exciting, because the audience is really excited about it. They haven’t seen it like three or four years ago like our other cities have, so there is a special anticipation in the air,” according to 8newsnow.com.
The Smith Center’s president Myron Martin has been amazed by the center’s popularity so far. He never expected people from around the world to be talking about the center. However, it’s not hard to imagine why, given The Smith Center design team went across North America and Europe to study the world’s best opera houses, concert halls, and performance venues before designing The Smith Center in 2007.
“Wicked” first opened on Broadway in 2003 and has become a Broadway smash. The musical has earned 35 awards, which includes a Grammy and three Tony Awards. “Wicked” is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” according to The New York Times.