Sunday, October 2, 2011

Something Wicked this way comes (thru my intestinal tract)

DB~ is a fan of musicals; I'm more of a theatre play man, myself (but more of a movie guy above all of them). Rent is her all-time favorite...I think she's up to seeing it 8 times...but Wicked may be her 2nd favorite with 4 viewings before Friday night.

DB~'s good friend and work associate organized a group of nearly 20 people to go to dinner beforehand and then go sit in 2 rows together at the Benedum. There was also the added bonus of 2 people being able to go back stage after the show to see the sets and costumes. To decide which 2 of us out of 20 would get the tickets, a blind drawing would be done at the restaurant by putting all of our names in a bag.

The restaurant selected for our dining pleasure was McCormick and Schmick's on Wood Street, next to Capital Grille. McCormick and Schmick's is perfectly fine, but it has always struck me as a stuffy, clubby restaurant where captains of business power lunch over a martini and a non-sustainably fished Chilean Sea Bass.

There are plenty of fine choices on the menu, including the Cashew Crusted Tilapia that DB~ selected, but I felt like having some Fried Buttermilk Jumbo Shrimp and fries with Old Bay seasoning. Just felt right. Foreshadowing!!

At the end of dinner, the selection for the backstage pass occured and guess who got it? That's right...your favorite baseball/city of Pittsburgh/food blogger and his Wicked-loving new wife.

Upon arrival at the Benedum, we settled into our balcony seats 2 rows from the front with a great view of the stage. And then approximately 2 song numbers into the show, the rumblings from somewhere within my 6 feet of large intestine started. Uh, oh. If I left to go to the bathroom, I would probably not be able to come back into the theatre until the intermission. So I started to think pleasant thoughts and focus on the love-hate relationship between Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West.

At intermission, I thought I had it kicked so I didn't run out and enjoy the finest porcelain toilet on the 2nd floor of the Benedum. Mistake. Two songs into the 2nd Act, I knew this wasn't going to work, so I asked DB~ for a Pepto Bismol tablet (she's like a mobile Walgreens with her purse).

That Pepto helped, but it was just a Band-Aid. But we still had the backstage tour after the show. We did a run through of the backstage area and it was very cool. We were there 10 minutes after the end of the show and everyone was already cleared out. All the costumes and makeup was off and the actors gone. The theatre and backstage area were dark. It was sweet to walk around the Benedum's stage and try to envision what it must be like during the actual production.

We asked our backstage guide (one of the flying monkeys, I think) how long it took to set it up when it came into town. He told us it takes a huge crew 2 days, working around the clock, to set it up. It takes 6-8 hours to break it down and put it in the trucks at the end of the run, which for the Pittsburgh leg was today.

It's a grueling tour with 43 cities on the run. I can't imagine what it must be like to do the SAME thing EVERY day for your job. Unfortunately, all the pictures I took with my cellphone turned out too dark to adequately put up here. Bummer...there was a nice one of the giant Wizard Statue Head.

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