The Wizard Of Oz

September 13th, 2013
"Wizard of Oz"

Wizard of Oz

How Will The Wizard of Oz Compare to Wicked?
I was spoiled when it comes to Broadway musicals as my first experience was Wicked. My second experience was Wicked and my third experience was Wicked. After that I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera and a handful of other musicals and plays. That said, nothing will compare to Wicked. It was my first and it has a special place in my heart. The first time I heard Defying Gravity there were goosebumps all over my body and chills running down my spin. Now that a new aged version of The Wizard of Oz is touring it will be interesting to see how it compares.

Can Anything Compare to Wicked?
For me, the answer is likely no. For anyone else, the answer is yes or maybe. The reason Wicked is so special to me is because of timing in life. I have always been a sports guy. I ran track in college and I consume as much college football and NFL as possible. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would ever attend a musical or play I would have laughed at you and said that is not “manly”. As I started to grow older, into my late 20s, I realized that just because some people would not consider an activity “manly” it does not mean it is something I would not enjoy. I slowly learned that doing what I wanted to do meant not caring what others thought.

Around 2008 or 2009 I decided that it was time to expand my horizons and start to do a few different things. Remember, former college athlete here. I attempted to learn to play the piano, I purchased tickets to Wicked and I even tried to learn to cook. Well, the piano and cooking didn’t go over so well but the tickets to Wicked were worth every penny. Part of the reason I enjoyed Wicked so much was the atmosphere. I had amazing seats and the audio was crystal clear. During the first few scenes of the musical I was in awe of the talent. I had never been to a live performance of individuals that were so talented.

To be able to sing, dance and act all at the same time was unheard of to me. I had been to alternative music concerts over the course of my college and young adult career but most of these singers didn’t necessarily hit it out of the park with their performances. It was more of the atmosphere than the singing and dancing ability of these alternative singers. In fact, I would be willing to say that very few musical talents that go on tour have the ability to sing in a Broadway musical. The singing part is just the beginning as they have to dance and act as well. I think we can all agree that most rock, alternative and country singers do not have the ability to dance; especially when compared to those that participate in Wicked or The Wizard of Oz.

The newest version of The Wizard of Oz by Andrew Lloyd Weber will illustrate the story of Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West. If you have seen Wicked you will absolutely love The Wizard of Oz. One of the most enjoyable experiences in theatre or entertainment is to see each side of the story. In Wicked, we learned that the Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t all that bad. She had a few daddy issues and family issues but to the core she really wasn’t as bad as she is made out to be in The Wizard of Oz.

When The Wizard of Oz movie was released 1939 the Broadway musical Wicked was not considered as part of the plot. In fact, it took several decades for us to finally hear the other side of the story. Classic songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard” will be part of the newest Wizard musical but look for some other tidbits that have been added to modernize this musical. If there is an opportunity to consume Wicked and The Wizard of Oz during the same week or same month that might be the pinnacle of a theater watching career.

The Best Seats at a Broadway Musical
Most of my musical consumption has come on the east coast in the Durham Performing Arts Center and the Landmark Theater in Richmond, Virginia. These two theaters are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to technology. The Durham Performing Arts Center is one of the most innovative theaters in the United States. In fact, over the last few years the DPAC has had one of the highest capacity rates in the United States. In 2008, the DPAC opened and it has continued to renovate to stay on the cutting edge of technology. It cost $48 million to build this beautiful structure.

On the flip side of that, the Landmark Theater in Richmond, Virginia was completed in 1926 and it is a true, old fashioned theater. Just looking at images of the Landmark Theater will help to illustrate the traditional style of the structure. The seats are very close together. Fortunately, I am a small to medium sized adult. I would imagine anyone over the size of 220 pounds would struggle to fit in these seats. The restrooms have not been renovated so during the intermission it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to relieve oneself. These are issues that must be considered when going to watch any Broadway musical.

When you decide on where you want to sit for a Broadway Musical it is important to determine what you want to get out of the performance. If you just want to hear the music and the visuals are not that important there is no reason to pay $500 for floor seats. If you enjoy getting to see the actors and actresses close up that $500 investment might be a consideration. Looking at the floor plans and seating chart of a theater is imperative. Almost all theaters have seats that are semi blocked. Ticket holders will be able to see the majority of the stage but they cannot see the whole panoramic view. Take the time to research what views are blocked and what seats are best for the money.

Just because tickets are expensive it does not mean they are the best. Also, check out the fees before making a final decision. Most people that have attended a sports or entertainment event have had to pay lofty fees. Fortunately, there are a few websites and companies that offer no fees when making a ticket purchase. Look for these no fee websites. Even though a no fee ticket may be $100 it will be cheaper than a ticket that is $90 with fees. Before giving away that credit card number or paying with a debit card analyze the fee structure to determine what is truly the best deal.

Will The Wizard of Oz Sell Out?
The Wizard of Oz is a newer broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber so diehard fans cannot expect tickets to last all the way until the date of the performance. Grab some tickets ahead of time rather than paying top dollar during the day of the event. Planning ahead is a smart decision when it comes to the newer Broadway Musicals. From personal experience, I know that the first few times a musical comes to town it will sell out quickly. After this particular musical visits a town or city for four or five years tickets are easier to come by. The Wizard of Oz started in 2011 so it is still new to a large audience. This means tickets are going to remain hot.

There are a number of upcoming events at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. If Wizard of Oz is not an option during September and October consider War Horse, the Lion King, the Book or Mormon or Evita. All of these options will be available for fans of the Pantages Theater. When looking for ticket, parking or general information about the Pantages Theater make sure to check out PantagesTheaterTickets.com. There are plenty of upcoming events available but think ahead to avoid the high costs that come with a day of event purchase.

By Jesse Wojdylo