Eight years on the road, 15 trucks, 3,200 performances and counting! The hit Broadway musical Wicked has just as much magic going on behind the scenes as it does on stage.
“Oswald is our dragon, you’re going to walk right into him when you get here and it tells you that you’re not going somewhere normal, you’re not in New Orleans, you’re not in New York, you’re not in L.A., you’re in Oz. It’s unreal what hangs above our heads you don’t think about what goes above your head and the steel to make this show happen and you’re not supposed to think about us. There’s 70 of us with the show and close to 60 locals from the New Orleans area we hire to be carpenters, electricians, hair dressers, make-up, costumes,” Production Stage Manager Jason Daunter.
Of the hundreds of people required to pull off a Broadway show here in New Orleans, only one knows the real magic behind the most wicked transformation of all and that’s Make-up Artist Christina David. She is responsible for the “greening” of Elphaba which takes thirty minutes to complete.
“It feels like being painted, sometimes it’s cold and I’m like Christina it’s cold! ” says Alison Luff who plays Elphaba.
Once she’s completely green, that’s when Luff really gets into character.
“When she gets in the second act makeup she gets a little cheeky in the mirror, that’s a huge misconception with our show too is that she’s supposed to be ugly, she’s really like the prettiest girl in Oz she just happens to have green skin,” says David.
After the make-up and backstage preparations, it’s show time!
“It’s like a rock concert every night at the show, you can’t leave the show in a bad mood, people want to be involved in this show this show is going to go down in musical theater history,” says Jason Daunter.
‘Wicked’ will be running 8 shows per week through June 2nd at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. For ticket information visit: http://neworleans.broadway.com/shows/wicked-ss/