LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- It is one of the most successful musicals of all time. Wednesday evening, WICKED begins a three week run in Louisville at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on Main Street in downtown Louisville.
The show has a big impact on the downtown economy. It is the third time the musical has come to town and in the past it has put up some impressive numbers.
"I think the first time it was here 75,000 people saw it," says the president of Broadway Louisville Leslie Broecker. "The second time 55,000 and I am shooting for right around 50 to 55-thousand again, it is one of the best."
In addition to the magic produced on stage, WICKED's Louisville performances mean a little magic for the bottom line. The previous two visits here by the traveling production has grossed more than $9 million.
The Broadway League Trade Association estimates a local economic impact of $22 million.
"It is a significant impact, we are glad to see it come back here," says the general manager of the Bristol Restaurant along Main Street,"T. J. Oakley.
He says WICKED will mean a big increase in customers at this restaurant. "We anticipate we will reach maximum capacity each night," he says. "It looks like the weather is going to be fantastic, so we will have our patio to seat people and have our inside tables as well."
Some of the stagehands who have spent the past couple of weeks setting up the highly technical show and its giant set are hired locally. And the 100 member cast and crew have to be housed in town for three weeks helping to fill up downtown hotels.
WICKED's story has captured the imagination of people everywhere and Louisville is no exception with many repeat patrons. "It has a message of acceptance," explains Broecker, "but it is not one that is not heavily hammered home; and it is one that is very subtle because the music is beautiful and the story fabulous."
Some tickets are still available, especially for the third week of the Louisville run.
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