Thursday, January 22, 2009
Just sat in the orchestra pit during one of the last runs of Wicked, which is closing in Chicago this Sunday. Wicked is the longest running show Chicago has ever had; more than a million people have seen it. It sold out for its first two and a half years. I didn't know that before tonight. I mean, I knew it was popular, but not that popular. One of my classmates is the show's conductor, and he very kindly invited all of us down to see the show. (I was the only one who made it tonight.) He has conducted the show its entire run. He's conducted so many shows he conducted the first half from memory. The second half I think he was tired, so he used the score, but I could tell he had that memorized, too, as he flipped through a few pages at a time. The set was amazing, and the costumes were trippy and very intricate. The music itself was okay—very rock-based, which is not my taste in theatre music—but the musicians were fabulous. It cracked me up how they all had been playing the show so long they would take out whatever book or magazine they were reading and read between numbers.