Greg, Sharon and I went to see Wicked in Wichita the last weekend it was playing and it was a blast. It’s in Kansas City now and the thought has been offered to go see it again.
A few days before we went, I was at a Wichita CVB event where one of the actors spoke a bit about the show. We were in an area of Century II where we could see what was being used as the backstage area for the show. I took a little video to share.
The red and purple cases are makeup and hair. The black ones hold costumes – generally one per actor.
He said all the wigs are made by hand, with real human hair. It takes about 40 hours to make just one. He described it as much like making a latch hook rug.
All the shoes, masks and costumes are made specifically for the actor. They trace their feet so the shoes fit perfectly. Everything is hand beaded. He is the backup for the wizard and said the material for the vest was $200 a yard. But, he said of the costume designer, “She won the Tony. They give her the budget. She spends it.”
There are 32 people in the cast. He said 75 people travel with the show, and that comes up to 110 when they add locals, including 12 costume people locally. Six of the orchestra members travel with them and the rest are local.
It takes 14 semi trucks to move the equipment. Originally there were 17, but they now do some of the magic by hand instead of with machines and that cut down on the number needed.
I tried for the ticket lottery the day I was over there for the CVB event, but was not fortunate enough to win. But, we ended up going after that anyway. It was quite a spectacular production and funny. Very funny.
At one point the green witch and the blonde witch are thrown together as roommates and are describing each other to their families. The blonde witch has a long list of ways she explains her roomie, but when it’s the green witch’s turn she just says, “blonde.”
The blonde witch is very perky and excited about lots of things. I had a moment or self-awareness while watching it, thinking, “wow, I’ve always been blonde… I just never dyed my hair.”