Ticket to Wicked: A Local 5 Look of a Broadway Classic at Fox Cities PAC

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APPLETON, Wisconsin (WFRV) – Flying monkeys, flashy shoes, pointy hats, and bad news – these are just a few descriptions whispered into the crowd as the musical Wicked graced the stage at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Two Local 5 digital content producers were able to become spectators for the night – one a seasoned theater veteran, while the other looked like a newbie.

Below are the thoughts of the seasoned veteran of the night as they took their unsuspecting friend and colleague to their first (of many) musical performances, hopefully, at the Fox Cities PAC.

Know before you go

Before heading to the show, the Fox Cities PAC sends out useful information on what visitors can expect.

While the pandemic still rages on, the PAC is asking staff and customers aged 2 and over to wear face masks indoors (when they are not actively eating or drinking).

In addition, the PAC provides information on what can be brought into the theater and the ability to pre-order food and drinks before the performance.

The biggest help this regular viewer noticed was the ease of parking. If you don’t feel like paying $ 5 to park in the Green Ramp, next to the theater, PAC offers valet parking for $ 12 on Division Street, located next to the center.

Included for all

Before you think that a yellow brick road adventure is not possible, we invite you to check out the PAC website to see what they offer for accessibility..

The theater has wheelchair accessible seating and elevators for those who cannot climb the stairs. Another awesome achievement that this seasoned viewer noticed is a useful app for the hearing impaired called GalaPro.

To be short and sweet, like Glinda the Good, GalaPro is capable of delivering automated multilingual captions, closed captions, dubbing, audio description, and amplification on your own mobile device. To learn more about this, Click here.

A night to remember

My colleague, who had never attended a large production like Wicked before, seemed shocked at the number of guests wandering the streets and queuing, waiting for their highly anticipated tickets which opened the doors of a place a much like Oz.

Once your entry is cleared, guests can peruse the expansive halls housing Wicked merchandise, choose from a variety of drinks, and participate in a photo booth to commemorate the night.

Making sure I didn’t almost lose my friend in the buzzing crowd, I felt like there were emerald glasses on my eyes as we walked into the theater, which seemed to come alive with green lights, of colorful banners and the revealing dragon seated at his post above the stage.

Finally, sitting in our seats for the night, the show began. We have experienced, for the first or the millionth time, the reverse side of the Wizard of Oz. The story of two friends who are trying to find happiness – with magic, song and lots of fog.

When the intermission sounded, my friend seemed to think the show was over. However, after seeing Wicked tapping his heel a few times myself, we made sure to stay in our seats and wait for the second act.

Lynn Murphy and Ruth Ann Heeter

We also made some new friends. Sitting next to us for the night were Lynn Murphy and Ruth Ann Heeter of Fox Cities magazine.

One of the best things the Fox Cities PAC seems to do is bring the locals together – whether it’s just to watch the show or to help make it possible.

Finally, after greetings and a standing ovation, the crowd dispersed as quickly as the fog. Humming our favorite Wicked songs, we waited our turn before heading out to our cars.

For me, the night has been as magical as the first time my eyes saw the glittering map of Oz and the metal dragon sleeping above it. For my colleague, I hope, it arouses a love for the theater a bit like mine.

If you haven’t seen a musical yet, I recommend dipping your toes into the theater world with this classic Broadway show. For those who have seen the story unfold on stage before, I recommend checking it out while it’s still playing in the Appleton area until November 14th.

For dates / times of Wicked and other future shows, Click here to find out more.


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