The Broadway musical that has broken box office records in every city it has blown through is headed to Tulsa.
Wicked, based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, invades the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St., this week for a 32-show engagement, running July 15-Aug.9. The musical has earned three Tony awards, one Grammy and 16 others, and defined the career of Broken Arrow native Kristen Chenoweth.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt) and a book by Winnie Holzman ("My So Called Life," "Once and Again," "thirtysomething"), Wicked tells the story of a pair of friends, one with emerald green skin who is smart, fiery and misunderstood and the other beautiful, ambitious and popular.
Derived from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it's a view of Oz before Dorothy dropped in and a story of how this unlikely pair became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.
The production was developed in 2000 and 2001 through a series of workshops conducted by Scwartz and Holzman to write the book, lyrics and score. Chenoweth, who had already won a Tony award for her work as Sally Brown in the musical You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and whom Schwartz had in mind for the role of Glinda as he wrote the musical, was on board from the beginning.
By 2003, the entire cast and crew had been assembled and included Indie Menzel as Elphba (the Wicked Witch of the West; the name is a play by Schwartz on L. Frank Baum), David Stone as producer and Joe Mantello as director.
In a review for Time magazine, Richard Zoglin writes, "Wicked works because it has something Broadway musicals, so addicted to facetiousness and camp, have largely given up on: a story that adults can take seriously. ...the musical reimagines a children's tale in grown-up psychopolitical terms a lot more successfully than, say Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine did for Into the Woods."
In Tulsa, Wicked plays Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 in the PAC's Chapman Music Hall. Friday evening performances are at 8pm, and Saturday's are at 2pm and 8pm. There will also be a matinee performance on Thursday, July 16 at 1:30pm.
The show is recommended for mature audiences (no children under eight), and no children under four will be admitted.
Tickets start at $28, and there are still some seats left. To find out which ones and to purchase tickets, go to www.tulsapac.com or www.celebrityattractions.com.
Also playing this week at the PAC is the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust's SummerStage Festival, which runs through the end of the month.
July 9-11, Theatre Tulsa presents Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon, two one-act plays separated by an intermission.
Both plays, by James McLure, offer a look into small-town Texas on a hot, late-1970s day.
In Laundry and Bourbon, Elizabeth and Hattie chit-chat while watching daytime TV and folding clothes. When Amy Lee, the town gossip, stops by unexpectedly, the bourbon begins to flow and the laundry starts to fly. There are rumors about Elizabeth's husband, Roy, but Elizabeth may have an even bigger secret.
Lone Star follows Roy, a Vietnam vet, and his brother Ray as they drink the night away out back of Angel's Bar. Roy loves his wife and his '59 T-Bird, but nothing else seems certain.
After a case of beer and several candy bars--and a contentious visit from Cletis, a nerdy former classmate--Ray reveals some hard and explosive truths.
Performances are at 8pm in the PAC's Liddy Doenges Theatre, and tickets are $5. Visit the PAC's Web site or call 591-7111 for tickets.
In the Norman Theatre, July 10-11, SummerStage and the Resonance Center for Women present "Resonating Voices: Transcendance."
The production is a series of stories, told through music, dance and dramatic monologues, based on the actual stories of women served by Resonance. Tickets are $10, and performances are at 8pm.
July 14-19, American Theatre Company presents Around the World in 80 Days, a new adaptation by Mark Brown.
Phileas Fogg and his faithful manservant race to beat the clock. Fogg has agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by a detective who thinks he's a robber on the run.
The show plays July 14 at 7:30pm, July 15-18 at 8pm and July 19 at 2pm.
On Friday, July 10, the Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, 9 E. Brady, presents "Marital Carnage: Sculpture by Kara McCleary."
In her artist's statement, McCleary writes, "('Marital Carnage') is a group of abstract paper sculptures of human forms. While making these pieces, I work out frustrations in my personal life.
"It was not until I started work in three dimensions that I really found the true expression of my heart. ... I find paper satisfying because I can incorporate my love of painting and color into these works in a way that I find other sculptural media limiting.
"The finished pieces are not perfect and smooth. They have imperfections, just like a real human form does and, like my feelings, are flawed and raw."
"Marital Carnage" opens with a reception on Friday from 6-9pm. The exhibit runs through July 31.
Past and Present
July 10-12, ThunderRoad Theatre Company presents Margaret Bruchac's Molly Has Her Say at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth St.
In the play, adapted and directed by Okcate Smith with the help of Julie Little Thunder and cultural consultant George Coser, Molly Marie, a young half-Muscogee (Creek) woman encounters, while writing her grad school thesis, truths about the treatment of the Muscogee Indians and ancestry she has either forgotten or refused to learn until now.
Molly O., the spirit of a Muscogee woman from the colonial days visits her and helps her find peace of mind and purpose.
The show begins at 8pm July 10 and 11 and at 2pm July 12. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students. More at www.nightingaletheater.com.
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