APPLETON, Wisconsin (WBAY) – Some theatergoers will be “changed for the better” as the Broadway sensation “Wicked” returns to Appleton, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The energy at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center was electric, ahead of opening day Wednesday night.
It’s been 594 days in total since Thrivent Hall went dark due to the pandemic, and more than 600 days since a Broadway production returned to Thrivent Hall.
“It’s hard to think of a better show to reopen the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center than Wicked, he’s been here before, audiences love it. I think what’s really interesting about this show is that it’s so timeless, ”said Maria Van Laanen, President and CEO, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.
Most shows are already sold out, but a few tickets are still available.
“A lot of the performances that people will experience this season have been rescheduled three to four times before we can finally lock that window of time, and that only adds to the excitement of welcoming people back,” said Van Laanen.
Masks are compulsory at the entrance to the PAC. Concessions and merchandise kiosks will be contactless and cashless to ensure the safety of the community, staff and stakeholders.
Wicked’s three-week run is expected to have a ripple effect on neighboring businesses.
“It’s really an overflow from outside the walls of PAC, it’s impacting all downtown businesses, whether you’re a restaurant, cafe, retail store, you’re going to feel the impact of Wicked throughout these three weeks. run, ”said Jennifer Stephany, Managing Director, Appleton Downtown INC.
Victoria’s Italian Cuisine, located on College Avenue across from the PAC, says it has received dozens of phone calls for reservations over the past few weeks, and even on opening day the calls have not stopped.
“I think it’s really good for downtown, the same with Oktoberfest, it was just a little overwhelming because we were trying to get back to a certain level of normality as a society and as a city. But being so close to the PAC, we get a lot of business from it. So we are already getting ready, we know what to do ”, Sandy Hurtado, Manager, Victoria’s Italian Cuisine.
Like the famous song on the show, the Fox Cities PAC and surrounding businesses hope to “defy gravity” and be released from the brunt of the pandemic.
“What’s great about the Broadway shows here in the Fox Cities is that for a lot of people, this might be the first time they’ve had the chance to see a live show. of course, there’s nothing quite like this Broadway experience, so it’s so much fun making sure we bring something that is very well known, a favorite for so many people. And what’s great, it’s that it also creates a lot of economic activity for our community, which is much needed, ”said Van Laanen.
To see what dates and times are still available to purchase tickets, you can find them here.
Copyright 2021 WBA. All rights reserved.