"Wicked" - despite the critics, it's become a monster hit

 "Wicked" - despite the critics, it's become a monster hit
Alison Luff & Jenn Gambatese star in "Wicked" photo by Jan Marcus

The musical Wicked recently broke the Broadway In Chicago record for the highest one-week gross  bringing-in $1,935,432 for the week ending Dec 1, 2013. This is a show that a New York critic called an "overproduced, over blown, confusingly dark and laborious jumble". In the New Yorker the reviewer wrote, "The shows 22 songs were written by Stephen Schwartz, and not one is memorable." The prestigious N.Y. Times carried the most damning review: "Wicked does not, alas, speak hopefully for the future of the Broadway musical." That was ten years ago and since then 38 million theatregoers have spent $3.1 billion in ticket sales to see a show about a good witch and a bad witch.

Credit teenage girls for a good deal of the success of Wicked. And, of course, the Moms and Dads, Aunts and Grandmothers who buy the tickets not just once but back to see the show again and again. A 2006 survey found that seven out of ten audience members at Wicked were female. And for Mother and daughter bonding, you couldn't do better,

Critic Don Aucion in the Boston Globe, writes that the show, "has celebrated the power of female friendship. While giving full weight to the complexity of the path girls have to navigate, the show has affirmed the importance of standing up to groupthink, otherwise known as peer pressure."

For adults, there's a great event coming up this Sunday, December 8th at 8:00pm. Members of the Chicago cast will host, THE WICKED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS at the Laugh Factory (3175 N. Broadway) and the net proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Chicago House. General Admission is $60 donation (included 2 drinks). A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $125 donation (including 2 drinks) and a show reception with members of the company. It's an evening for mature audiences and you must be 16 or older to attend. Information at 773-248-5200 Ex: 303.

Performances of the hit Broadway show continue thru thru Dec 21st at the Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph. For tickets call (800) 775-2000, or at any Ticketmaster retail location or on line at www.BroadwayinChicago.com

Filed under: Theatre Reviews

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