10 Cool Things You Don't Know About Wicked

Plus excerpts of your favorite songs from the musical.


(SPOT.ph) As soon as the curtains are up, Wicked transports you to the “greenified” world of Emerald City with the huge Wizard of Oz head and Time Dragon Clock. We’re taken to that time when green-skinned Elphaba is still Glinda’s best friend and the Wicked Witch of the West doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.


But behind the curtains is a different dimension altogether where the cast and crew operate on calculated (and quick) moves to present the best show possible. We round up some secrets we heard while touring the backstage.



Wicked's "Wardrobe Village" is right behind the stage.

Unlike in most productions where there are dressing rooms, Wicked's props and costumes are just backstage, separated from the rest of the set through a black curtain. This makes it easier for the crew to make last-minute costume alterations.


The fastest costume change happens within 13 seconds.

What can you do within 13 seconds? Maybe nothing much! But for Carly Anderson, who plays as Glinda, that's all the time it takes to change from her simple white dress for Shiz University into a yellow one (in "One Short Day").



No two masks are the same, even for alternates.

The first thing that all actors playing masked characters (Doctor Dillamond, Chistery, etc.) have to do is get a face mold. This means that all masks are shaped and customized depending on their facial features.


They use vodka for the laundry.

Company Manager Anthony Field reveals that vodka is essential in doing the laundry for Wicked. It turns out that vodka spray is an effective way to deodorize clothing. At least that's what they're saying. How can you possibly go through 40 tons of laundry every day without booze?


Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible) and Steven Pindar (Doctor Dillamond)


The company that stretches together, stays together.

Kim Ismay, who plays Madame Morrible, narrates that the whole cast has a physical warm-up before every show. Dancing, impossible stretches, and other exercises are part of the routine.


It took them less than four days to set up.

Wicked's 13 trucks and 18 shipping containers arrived in Manila from their Hong Kong run on January 29, Sunday. By Thursday, they're all set to open the show. The crew had to work overnight!



"Nothing ever goes wrong" is a lie.

Resident Director Leigh Constantine narrates the story of one of the Ozian guards almost getting hit by a seven-foot pike made of fiber glass. He came out with a small graze and he's fine.



Elphaba’s “greenifying” process takes 30 minutes.

"We have a wonderful team of makeup artists who come in and help and they do it all for me. So I just get to sit there and chat," Jacqueline Hughes tells us. MAC Cosmetics is the official makeup partner of Wicked.



The show is seven years in the making.

It was in December 1996 when Stephen Schwartz first heard of Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which was published a year prior. Inspired by the story, he approached Winnie Holzman to join him in writing a musical. After several development readings, the show finally premiered at Curran Theater in San Francisco in 2003.


Wicked is as real as it gets.

"I play a good-y, and then a bad-y," starts Steven Pindar who plays the role of Doctor Dillamond—a goat that has the ability to talk and interact with humans. Because he is different, he is often subjected to discrimination. "That's a thing that's very current in all parts of the world," the actor concludes.


BONUS: Excerpts from Wicked, the Musical




Wicked runs until March 12 at The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Tickets, priced from P1,750 to P7,000, are available through Ticketworld.


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