A Wicked Review: 6 Degrees of Donnie Wahlberg

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to see the travelling Broadway production of Wicked. Many of you have sent texts or tweets inquiring as to how the evening went. It all started with a photo shoot…

This is our “we’re normal, we’re adorable, look how pretty we are” shot.
This is our “we’re giddy, we’re overly-excited,
OMG we’re going to see Wicked” shot.

…followed by our prompt arrival at the theater. As in, we pulled into our parking space at 5:45. They didn’t open the doors to the event until 6:45. And the show didn’t start until 7:30. We were the FIRST ones there. Seriously. I’m not joking. Even the parking attendant was amused at our punctuality.

And so, Tina and I stood outside of the theater for over an hour, noses pressed to the glass, peering inside to “see what we could see.” We were thrilled to see tables of Playbills nearest to our door. We squealed with glee when we saw the swag table, decked out in t-shirts and coffee mugs and track jackets, all in varying shades of green.

And when the ushers began to appear, all wearing Elphaba-green bow-ties? Well, we may have joined hands and jumped up and down. Maybe.

When they finally opened the doors to the theater, Tina was the FIRST person inside. We enjoyed frosty beverages (daiquiris–both banana and strawberry.) We tried our best to seem nonchalant as we casually browsed the wares for sale. I noticed a large book on one of the tables and realized (with some enthusiasm) that it was the Grimmerie. (For those not familiar with the book or play, the Grimmerie is the book of magic spells used by the Witch.) While there were no spells to be found in the pages of this particular Grimmerie, it was instead a ‘behind the scenes’ book, all about the characters, music, creators, and design of Wicked.

I flipped open the heavy green cover, and the first page I turned to had a large picture of Fiyero, Elphaba’s love interest. I gasped as I instantly recognized the actor as Joey McIntyre.

For those with no clue who Joey McIntyre is, and why I nearly swooned with delight when I realized he’d been the 2nd Fiyero (and voted “Favorite Fiyero” on BestofBroadway.com) on Broadway, let me remind you of the title of this particular blog post. (I’ll wait while you scroll back up to read it.) Then, let me point you to exhibit A:

NKOTB….from left to right, Joey McIntyre, Jon Knight,
Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Danny Wood.

It’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, except with Donnie Wahlberg. If there really was a yellow brick road, I’m convinced it would lead me to Donnie’s house.


We left the swag table, Tina listening to me chatter on and on about Joey McIntyre, and headed over to the double doors leading into the theater. We stood there, waiting patiently, until they finally opened them up and let people stampede wander to their seats. Tickets clutched in our hands, we asked the first usher we came to where we might find Row K, Seats 36 and 37.

She pointed her flashlight down toward the stage and said, “Just keep following the stairs until you find Row K on your right. Then, head toward the center until you find your seats.”

I followed Tina down the stairs. Each step took us closer to the stage. We found Row K, and Tina led the way down the row. And the closer we got to the center, the more excited she became. She kept looking over her shoulder at me, eyebrows raised in disbelief. And there they were, seats 36 and 37–smack dab in the middle of theater, 10 rows back from the orchestra.

Tina sat down, a huge smile on her face, and said, “Remind me that any time I go to a play, I want YOU to get the tickets. These seats are AMAZING!!!”

She wasn’t kidding. This photo was taken from my seat:

We were SO CLOSE, I couldn’t even get the dragon AND the stage floor into the same shot.

At 7:30 sharp, the lights went down, the orchestra began to play, and the show started. I won’t tell you much about it, in case you ever go to see it yourself. Suffice it to say that I laughed, I cried, I applauded and whooped and hollered. At intermission, Tina and I stayed glued to our seats, never willing to miss a single minute. We talked about every single aspect of the show: from music to actors to costumes to lighting. And when the curtain came down at the end of the second Act, I was absolutely awed. 

I was expecting it to be great. But it was SO much more than I ever anticipated. I get weepy just thinking about it.

I will say this: every single person I talked to who had seen the show previously said that “Defying Gravity” would be the highlight of the live show. I’d seen it on YouTube and on various TV shows, so I knew exactly what was going to happen. But when Elphaba took to the sky on her broom for the first time, I was absolutely awestruck. I had goosebumps. All the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up. And involuntary tears rolled down my cheeks. It. Was. Amazing.

Wicked was the topic of conversation for the rest of Tina’s visit. We listened to the soundtrack over and over, talked about our favorite parts over and over, quoted from the show over and over. When she left Saturday afternoon, she gave me a big hug and thanked me for the memory we’d created together. And then my Wicked Weekend came to an end.

I can’t wait for the opportunity to go and see the show again. And I will. Believe you me.

But for now, I’m going to ride the Wicked high I’m still on.

And I’m going to figure out the 6 degrees of separation between Donnie Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon. 

What? I really think I could do it…

*EDIT* Thanks to friend, reader, and fellow book clubber, Rachel, who figured out the 6 degrees between Donnie Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon. If you’re curious, here it goes:  Kevin Bacon was in JFK with Gary Oldman who is married to Uma Thurman who was in “The Accidental Husband” with Ajay Naidu who was in “Office Space” with Ron Livingston who was in “Band of Brothers” with Donnie Wahlberg!

6 thoughts on “A Wicked Review: 6 Degrees of Donnie Wahlberg

  1. Rachel Teasley

    Omigoodness. I was bored at work so I did it. Kevin Bacon was in JFK with Gary Oldman who is married to Uma Thurman who was in “The Accidental Husband” with Ajay Naidu who was in “Office Space” with Ron Livingston who was in “Band of Brother” with Donnie!

  2. LemonadeLady

    I am so jealous … Joey was my favorite NKOTB … I loved him … I think I wrote him love letters … he was not the Fiyero in the performance I saw … but it was still excellent … I’m just still a little jealous 😉

  3. The Woven Moments

    I can’t imagine Joey as Fiyero. Glad to hear he did well! I bet you could see those blazing baby blues all the way from the back row…not that you would know with your FABULOUS seats!

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