WICKED takes its final Melbourne bow
‘Half a million theatregoers, 60 wonderfully WICKED weeks, but now it’s time to say farewell.’ – Producer John Frost
As the Witches fly north to Sydney WICKED takes its final Melbourne bow on August 9
Thirteen months after its spectacular Melbourne premiere, the curtain will come down on WICKED at The Regent Theatre Melbourne, on August 9. The musical will go to Sydney.
‘It will be 60 weeks since we began previews at The Regent and 464 performances since opening night. And what an exhilarating 60 weeks!’ John Frost, Australian co-Producer of WICKED, says. ‘Right from the beginning this show has been a hit. We got off to a wonderful start securing the biggest sponsorship ever for an Australian theatrical production from the ANZ bank.
‘Next we got tremendous support from the government of the State of Victoria and of the City of Melbourne itself, helping market WICKED in a way unprecedented in this country. Melbourne went emerald green: the Town Hall and the trees in the city’s major thoroughfare were green lit, and stayed that way.
‘We auditioned more than 1700 performers and came up with a terrific cast.
‘But above all, of course, we had the show itself. WICKED is a phenomenon, one of the most successful shows in theatre history, the winner of 20 major awards including the Grammy® Award and three Tony® Awards, a musical that enchants audiences around the world and right across the spectrum.
‘We opened at the Regent Theatre to a sensational reception from the public and the critics and within ten months we’d sold half a million tickets: one in every three tickets to people outside Melbourne.’ Minister for Tourism and Major Events Tim Holding congratulated the producers and cast on an outstanding season.
‘WICKED has been a terrific success story for Melbourne. Shows such as WICKED combined with Melbourne’s prestigious calendar of major events are critical to our tourism offering and help ensure that our hotels, restaurants and retail sector are busy throughout the year.
‘Recently we marked the milestone of 120,000 interstate and international visitors to see the show in Melbourne. There is no doubt that in the coming months WICKED will continue to be the hottest ticket in Australia.’
John Frost thanked sponsors who have helped make WICKED such a huge success: WICKED’s presenting sponsor ANZ, Tourism Victoria, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Qantas, Constellation Wines, ARN, GoldFM, Channel 7, Volvo Car Australia, Jeff Banks & MAC Cosmetics.
WICKED has had a record breaking premiere season in Melbourne. The musical took a record of more than $2.3 million in advance bookings in just three hours on February 12 2008 and, on the Monday after it opened smashed the one-day box office record for all Melbourne theatres with a $1.5 million ticket sales in just one day.
WICKED opened at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on June 27 2008 and its Australian premiere followed a month later, on July 12. It joined four North American productions and those in London’s West End, Tokyo and Stuttgart that have cumulatively grossed more than $1.35 billion and have been seen by 17 million people worldwide.
WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.
WICKED, with (music and lyrics) by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (My So Called Life, Once And Again and thirtysomething) is Produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B Platt and David Stone.
In Australia, John Frost, Co-Producer of the Australian production of WICKED, is joined by the U.S. creative team, Lisa Leguillo (Associate Director); Stephen Oremus (Musical Supervisor); Mark Myars (Dance Supervisor); and Corinne McFadden-Herrera (Dance Assistant).
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster.” – New York Times “A seductive, big-budget, glossy entertainment which whips up emotions in big broad theatrical strokes… Stephen Schwartz’s music is like an exhilarating rollercoaster which sparks genuine show-stopping magic.” - Sydney Morning Herald “A breathtaking success story of a magnitude that North America has not witnessed since the peak years of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.” Washington Post
“WICKED’s cast is outstanding and its production values are exceptional. A powerful piece of theatre.” The Australian
“WICKED has it all. The glitz and glamour and smiles, the anthemic tunes and mind-boggling sets. It also has a brain. “ – Melbourne Age
“… a blaze of green glory and standing ovations… spectacle as only Broadway can create it. WICKED is a visual masterpiece. “ – Melbourne Herald Sun