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'Wicked' returns to Utah as popular as ever

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns clamored for it years ago, and are anxious for the return of the Broadway musical "Wicked." Many Utahns fly out of state to see this play, but it's back in Salt Lake City for it's second tour.

After 14 semitrucks were loaded in San Diego on Sunday, and with lots of manpower, hammers and clamps, the "Wicked" set moved into the Capitol Theatre Tuesday. The first performance will be Wednesday night, and tickets are flying out of the box office and disappearing online.

Jason Daunter, the "Wicked" productions stage manager is excited to be back in Utah with the show as well. "Salt Lake City, in particular, and Utah has just been really good to this show and really good to 'Wicked,' and there's a love affair with it."

Salt Lake City, in particular, and Utah has just been really good to this show and really good to 'Wicked,' and there's a love affair with it.

–Jason Daunter, "Wicked" production stage manager

About 70 local stage hands help the 30 traveling crew members set up the show's backdrop. With a smaller stage, many of the boxes have to be stored back in the trucks after being unloaded because of the lack of room.

But the smaller, 1,800-seat theater gives a more intimate feel to the performance.

"The audience is right up on top of us, so you're really up on top of the action of the show, which I think is great when we're this close to them," Daunter said. "But it's tight. It's gonna be a tight squeeze and we're gonna get it in."

When "Wicked" was here three years ago, thousands of hardcore fans camped out for tickets. "Obviously I'm wearing the 'Wicked' paraphernalia today," said Mary Ellen Crase, a "Wicked" fan excited about the production's arrival in 2009. "I order "Wicked" shirts of every production. I have shirts with all of the actors on them, pathetically."

The show will be here for the next six weeks, until Aug. 26, and it is proving to be just as popular. Tickets are pricey, and while they are still available, fans can get them a cheaper way.

Two and a half hours before every performance, fans can put their name in a drawing to get $25 tickets in the orchestra section. Only a few of these tickets are available before each show, and can be purchased with cash and a photo ID. Each individual can only get two of these cheaper tickets in a drawing.


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Carole Mikita


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