Excitement Builds Over Las Vegas Run of "Wicked"

LAS VEGAS - The hit Broadway show "Wicked" is playing at the Smith Center of the Performing Arts. The cast members and crew offered 8 News NOW a backstage look at the back story of the "Wizard of Oz".

"Wicked" is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Patti Murin plays Glinda the good witch.

"It's a dream come true. I know that sounds cliché, but it really is," she said. "This show is so magical, and it gets me every single time. I cry at the end every time. I don't know if I've ever had this much pure fun and enjoyment playing a role."

Playing that role at the brand new Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a bonus.

"When the cast walked in for the very first day, we couldn't believe our eyes at how gorgeous this theater is and how wonderful it is to play this city for the first time," she said. "It's exciting, because the audience is really excited about it. They haven't seen it like three or four years ago like our other cities have, so there is a special anticipation in the air."

Like any good witch, she needs a sweet ride. "I get to start the show and end the show in the bubble which is Glinda's mode of transportation," Murin said.

That fact that people around the world are talking about the Smith Center amazes the center's president Myron Martin. He says he never expected it would be this big.

Nearly all of the Broadway shows are full, and Grammy Award-winning singer Diana Krall's performances are sold out.

People in Las Vegas have been hungry for this, but didn't quite know it. Martin says people come up to him and thank him and the board for making this happen. He says the reality has been better than the dream.

"Putting 3,600 people to work in high-paying construction jobs, people who took pride in building something they knew was going to be their personal legacy, something that would last for generations," he said. "Now, we're seeing school-bus-loads of kids being inspired here in the building and seeing the downtown being truly transformed thanks to what the Smith Center is offering. It makes us proud, but we know it's just the beginning."

Myron says he also gets calls from downtown restaurants thanking him for the increase in business. Mundo Mexican Restaurant near Bonneville Avenue and Grand Central Parkway says sales are up 10 percent since the Smith Center opened six months ago.

"Wicked" runs through October 7th.


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