Talia Suskauer is no stranger to being new-onset. She can vividly recall feeling her makeup props throughout her body; she can recall the way the colors have felt on different parts of her body; she remembers seeing her familiar but strange face in the mirror. But, little does she know that on a hot Dallas afternoon in July, the make-up paint will make her cry once more.
“Wicked,” whose touring production was closed sixteen months ago, looks set to dust up all its itineraries to hit the road once more. The show, which had been closed by force, sees Suskauer playing Elphaba – the witch with the green skin. Reassembling in Dallas to commence the Wicked tour once more, viewers are in for a high-stakes show.
On Tuesday, the show has its first performance – which will be the first from a touring Broadway show production in the post-coronavirus era after the shutdown. The show looks to bring hope to an already battered live performance industry but will prove to be a good litmus test amid the Delta Covid virus variant rampage.
“Every show will be emotional as they will be an opportunity for people to return to the theatre,” explained Suskauer. She had been going through her emotions, shedding tears as she settled in her makeup seat, which she last sat on the 13th of March, 2020, in Madison, Wisconsin, when the show first got shut down. “It is such an overwhelming feeling to be returning to what we love doing. I always felt that we had our purpose stripped off by the lockdown.”
Touring makes up a substantial chunk of the local commercial theatre scene. It is a significant amount of money – in this latest full live performance season, nearly 19 million people in Northern America saw various touring shows and made the productions earn a total value of $1.6 billion.