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Entertainment & Lifestyle

‘Wicked’ back in Cleveland for holiday performances

12/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Bridie Carroll, who graduated from Hudson High School, is performing in Cleveland as part of the cast of “Wicked.”
Photo courtesy of PlayhouseSquare
CLEVELAND — PlayhouseSquare is presenting a holiday gift to fans of Broadway’s “Wicked.”

The Tony Award-winning musical that tells the backstory of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, from “The Wizard of Oz,” returns to Northeast Ohio for several weeks. Shows began at the State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave., yesterday, Dec. 4, and continue every day through Jan. 5, with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s days.

That schedule is fine for Bridie Carroll, who is part of the ensemble and is one of the understudies for the part of Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University, where the main characters first meet.

Carroll has lived in several different places but was an Akron area resident during her high school years. She attended the performing arts program at Coventry High School and graduated from Hudson High School. Her parents still live in Hudson, and she’ll be getting the chance to spend the holidays with them.

“I get to be home for Christmas, which is amazing,” she said.

She plans to invite some of her fellow cast members to her parents’ home for the day, she added.

“It’s hard to be away for the holidays,” she said. “We just get Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day off. The rest of the time we’re helping the world celebrate with the show for the holidays.”

Carroll, who has a bachelor of fine arts from the Boston Conservatory, has been with the tour — one of two that crisscrosses the country — for about 17 months. She said she has been a fan of the musical since the start, though, as she was one of the first people to see it when it was in previews on Broadway.

“We had no idea what it was about or what it entailed, but we knew it was getting a lot of attention,” she said.

“Wicked” just marked the 10th anniversary of its Broadway debut in October. During its history, it’s won 50 major awards, including three Tony Awards and a Grammy.

Carroll said the show has been so successful because its messages appeal to everyone.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are or what gender you are — there’s something in it for everyone,” she said. “The costumes are Tony Award-winning and stunning and a blast to wear every night, [and] the spectacle of the show, along with the technical elements we have on top of the music by Stephen Schwartz, who really can’t be beat. Everything is catchy and there’s a heart to the show, but there’s also musical comedy. At the end of the day, it’s the story between these two witches who are best friends and the story of their friendship. It teaches morals and values about standing up for what you believe in.”

“Wicked” performances will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Additional performances will be held today, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m., and Dec. 23 and 30 at 8 p.m. Playhouse Square officials said good seats are still available for shows Dec. 24, 26-27, 30-31 and Jan. 2-3. Tickets start at $30 and may be purchased in person at the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office (1519 Euclid Ave.), online at www.playhousesquare.org or by calling 216-241-6000.

In addition, two-and-a-half hours prior to each performance, ticket seekers who present themselves at the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office will have their names placed in a lottery drum. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only. The lottery is available only in person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person. Lottery participants must have valid photo identification when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets.

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