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Wicked Reviews

"A theatre goer since I was 2, I am now 26, I can not recall being as moved in so many directions as I was while watching Wicked."

- Matt B.

"If I could pick where I had to die, It would be at a performance of Wicked. If I could pick the last words that I heard, It would be the last note of the song "Defying Gravity." This show is utterly amazing!"

- Jen M.

"Wicked is a musical that does best what musicals are supposed to do: transport the audience beyond the world they know. Whether you dream of being Galinda/Glinda, the toast of society, or Elphaba, the beautifully misinterpreted outcast, Oz inspires you. What more is theater for?"

- Hols F.

"Wicked did it all for me. Wit, charm, excitement, romance, surprises, it's all there. If you're going to see a show in New York, see Wicked."

- John H.

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Ford Center of Performing Arts
Presents Wicked the Musical

Ford Center of Performing Arts Information Ford Center of Performing Arts Seating Chart Ford Center of Performing Arts Map Buy Wicked the Musical Tickets at Ford Center of Performing Arts

Ford Center of Performing Arts
24 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Wicked the Musical (show information)
Playing: 08/29/06 - 02/4/07
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Ford Center of Performing Arts Information

Opened in 1926 on the site of the tragic Iroquois (later the Colonial) Theatre, and seating over 3200, this was Balaban & Katz' first new Loop movie palace since the opening of the Chicago in 1921. Opening day at the Oriental included popular bandleader Paul Ash (who moved to the Oriental from B & K's McVickers) presenting two musical reviews "Insultin' the Sultan" and "Harem-Scarem". Movies with Joan Crawford and Harry Langdon were the first two to appear on the screen. Originally, ushers and other B & K employees wore costumes inspired by the "Arabian Nights".

The Oriental, which stood on Randolph Street between State and Dearborn Streets, was for many years, in addition to live stage shows and movies, also one of Chicago's premier destinations for live jazz performances by many of the greats of the era, including frequent performer Duke Ellington.

The Oriental thrived through the 60s, but by the late 70s, however, the Loop was no longer the entertainment destination of earlier decades, and the Oriental, like many of the other movie palaces downtown, was reduced to B-grade action and kung-fu films attended for the most part by young people. By 1981 when it was closed, the Loop and the theater's fortunes had fallen into disarray. For several years, an electronics store operated in the former lobby area of the Oriental while the auditorium was disused.

Shuttered for 15 years, the Oriental was magnificently restored to its original exotic and over-the-top Indian-Indochinese style appearance in 1996 and reopened in 1998 as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. It is now home to live stage presentations.

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