Our family went to see Wicked at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre as part of a graduation celebration for our youngest daughter. Before showtime, the dispersing hockey crowd seemed to be pretty much what one would expect.
At intermission, however, we discovered we had front row seats for a different kind of show out in the plaza: a burning overturned car, a burning tree, an unnerving crowd, a smashed window below, smoke puffs and sounds of small explosions.
The theatre staff asked us to stay inside the building, and it was the shortest intermission I’d ever experienced — eight minutes. As they moved us back into the theatre, it was requested we avoid getting close to the windows. People were pretty stunned and anxious about the mounting situation.
The magnificent cast of Wicked was all the more admirable as they gave Act Two extra spirit, knowing what was going on behind them outside the walls.
The Queen Elizabeth staff was calm and efficient. The audience of about 2,000 people was held in the theatre for a little while after the finale, and then shepherded by police to the Skytrain and out of downtown.
Marg Stacey, Nelson