Wicked Opens in Austrailia

The July 12 premiere of Wicked took place before a star studded crowd. So what was it like being on this wickedly green carpet?

It’s hard to escape Wicked- from the gigantic billboards lining the highways to the now familiar Wicked trams, the winter in Melbourne has been transformed into a very different shade of green. With all the hype that is brewing its magic and sorcery on the streets of Melbourne, you would expect that the opening night for the show would be big. And it was.

The Australian premiere of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, premiered on Saturday, July 12. Collins Street switched its lights to green, so if you had somehow not become infected with the Wicked fever previously, there was no way to escape it now.

A lively crowded congregated at the Regent Theatre. There were punters sporting green dresses, ties, scarves and, of course, faces along with the occasional strange munchkin inspired outfit, all adding their individual doses of Oz sorcery to the special occasion. It seemed there was a celebrity sighting a second, from the stars from Neighbours to funny boys and girls Gina Riley, Jane Turner, Kate Langbroek, Chris Lilley, Peter Rowsthorn, Shane Bourne and Shaun Micallef (just to name a few). It was Melbourne’s who’s who ready and armed for their big night out with the Oz witches.

When the lights in the theatre dimmed, the big crowd cheered- they were ready and pumped up for the most anticipated opening in Melbourne since 1990 when Phantom opened. The crowded then quieted down and were suddenly mesmerized with the Wicked magical world. Even the young Wicked fans, who were fortunate enough to see the show with their parents (Peter Rowsthorn, Jane Turner and Gina Riley all brought their daughters), sat motionless through the entire long performance. It truly was wicked.

At the interval, green cocktails were as de riguer as backless dresses. The buzz coming from the foyer was that Wicked was definitely a hit. Once the show was over, theatre goers braved a very icy wind to totter down Collins St in their best finery to the opening night party, which had to have been one of the best ever. Beautiful food, served from sushi stands, noodle bars, ice cream stands and more welcomed the theatre crowd in from the bitter cold.

Finally the Wicked stars arrived at the party. Luck Durack looked stunning in an absolutely gorgeous bejeweled red dress. Amanda Harrison, who ditched her black robe and green makeup, emerged glowing at the party in a golden green halter. They were the true stars not only on stage, but off as well. The star studded and stylish party continued long into the late hours. The city of Melbourne is now truly and well green and opening night will be the talk of the town for some time to come.

By Julie Harmon On July 13, 2008

All photos made available via creative commons licensing courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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