Take a peek into the set of the season’s hottest ticket
As New Year struck, Filipinos who have long waited for Wicked’s run on the local stage began the final countdown to January 22, when the curtain rises on the hit musical at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.
Rest assured the group behind the touring production is making sure fans of the award-winning theatrical extravaganza will have the thrill of their lives beginning with a breathtaking stage.
On January 10, The Manila Times joined a special media visit to the CCP’s Main Theater for a looksee on the ongoing construction of the production set. The ocular also allowed interviews with key members of the production team.
“We actually started on site on the second of January. We [first]spent six days of what we call ‘pre-rig’ that modifies the size of the infrastructure to accommodate the shape of Wicked,” shared the show’s technical director Cameron Flint. “And then we started the ‘bump in,’ which is the assembly of the set—rigging the props, the lights and the sound system.”
Flint further revealed that preparations for the Manila leg actually began as early as 2012.
“It all started in October 2012 when I first came [to the CCP Main Theater]to look around. I measured it up and worked out how we were going to fit the show in to this theater. I came back six months later with our production crew—the lighting person, the sound person, our riggers—and continued the [fitting]process.”
After completing a season in Auckland in 2013, the Wicked world finally made its way to Manila aboard 23 shipping containers.
Company manager Bec Windsor informed, “It is important to say that this particular production is one of only three of its size in the world. The only places where you’ll see the same production specification is in Broadway [New York] and in the West End [London]. As far as production values go, this is one of the most beautiful and spectacular shows of Wicked.”
Windsor revealed that Wicked was actually never meant to tour after opening in 2008 at Melbourne, Australia. But Flint, who was one of the show’s original crew members, took the challenge and successfully brought the show all around the world including Japan, Singapore, Seoul, Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany.
Flint, meanwhile said they are set to do a “dry technical rehearsal” before the cast and directors arrive on Friday. “The dry rehearsal runs the whole show without the cast to make sure the automated elements are working properly,” he explained.
Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, which reimagined the back stories of the characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. One of the most loved and watched musicals in the world, it tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz, their friendship and destinies that made them Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
The production is directed by Joe Mantello with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The Philippine season is produced by Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and John Frost. It is presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, 105.9 Radio High, and Concertus Manila.
Wicked runs from January 22 to February 23 at the CCP Main Theater. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 891-9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph.