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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Tale of Two Sisters: Wicked - at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco

If you're looking for a great Girls Night Out, a date night with your beloved, or fun family event, take advantage of the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco and the musical "Wicked".  My blogging partner and I received a very generous gift of tickets from our SVMOMS  Holiday Swag which we took advantage of this past week.  We went on a blustery and rainy Tuesday, and the theater was jam packed. 

First, we had a scrumptous dinner at a great restaurant find by KR, Heaven's Dog.  This is a relatively new restaurant founded by chef Charles Phan, of the Slanted Door.  While the Slanted Door is famous for its Vietnamese cuisine, Heaven's Dog had other Asian influences and delights which are more reminiscent of northern China including a wonderful fish and egg plant clay pot in a brown sauce which we devoured like starving students.   We also had a spicy chicken and cashew dish, a must get salt and pepper calamari appetizer, Shanghai dumplings and pea shoots with garlic.  Everything was mouth watering and there wasn't a single dish left, we ate it all up.  We deifnitely want to go there again.  We were also lucky to get metered parking just outside Heaven's Dog, and after 6 pm, it's free!  Gotta love that.  From there it was a quick two-block walk from the restaurant to the theater.

A little bit about the theater:  The Orpheum Theater is  named after Orpheus, the son of Apollo and Calliope.  Orpheus was gifted with the power of poetry and song.  A very appropriate name for a theater which was built after the San Francisco earthquake in 1926 for vaudeville shows.  The theater was recently renovated and has a comfortable capacity of 2000 poeple.

Now, on with the show.  Wicked is the story behind the story of the Wizard of Oz.  We are all familiar with the movie The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland possibly more than the classic book that inspired it.  What I did not know before seeing Wicked is this wonderfully told tale is based on the book Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.  It is the first in the trilogy of Oz book by Gregory McGuire, which includes Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men.  Gregory's talent is to spin an often told tale and take them a step further, or perhaps shall we say, a step backwards and go in depth into the characters history.  He is able to wrap the characters and story cleverly around what the audience already knows of the classic story and then shine a new bubble and new perspective on it. 

Wicked is the tale of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.  Their story unfolds where we discover they were once friends, and how their their viewpoints and upbringing affect who they become.
Wicked, the musical, is more whimsical than the book, and full of fun "Oz-Speak" words which children and adults will love including "confusifying" and "disrespectation".   To say more than that would spill the beans.

The entire family will love the music and costumes, and the adults will appreciate the new twist on a old tale.  It shows ultimately that things can always be seen in a new perspective and history is whatever the person writing about decides to state.  There are some very memorable quotes, but to list them here would give so much away. Be prepared to enjoy yourself, it definitely defies what you know about the Wizard.  And lastly, there's no place like home (San Francisco) for Wicked, where this show first premiered in 2003.  Enjoy!


  1. I saw Wicked six times when it was here in L.A. LOVE that show!

  2. Hi April, thanks for your note. Wow, 6 times! I wish I had a chance to see it with the Broadway cast, I love Chenowith. But this cast was great. The set design is terrific and the costumes were fantastic. There's no place like OZ!

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  4. I have not seen this show, but have been meaning to buy tickets. Now you've convinced me--especially because I want to try that restaurant! Off to convince my husband to make a trip to SF in the near future..

    I meant to add...have you seen a show on the SciFi's channel named Tin Man? It was really good and had a similar theme to Wicked.

  5. Just saw it again last weekend. LOVED IT just as much as the first time! A must see. AND you can get up to $30 off of tickets through 2/28 by using the code 26GOOD on ticketmaster (or the box office too). Some shows are blacked out, e.g., Sat. nights, but still lots of show times to pick.


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