Wicked without Open Captions

I had been looking forward to seeing Wicked for over two years as we bought our tickets for last night’s show in December of 2005! On a lark, I stopped by the theater’s Web site to see a list of the upcoming season’s shows. I saw the “OC” symbol and eagerly read up on open captions. According to the site, the theater uses a laptop to display the script.
Wicked [image pops up in new window]

Last night, I stopped by the headset and seat rental desk. The employee told me to talk to a specific employee. I found him and asked about the laptop. He said it wasn’t available for the show. Yet, this page clearly shows OC. It’s not as if it was a signed performance where I have to go a certain day to see an interpreter sign the show.
Had I known the laptop would not have been available, I would’ve made an effort to read the book and study the lyrics (here is a nice study guide). With my hectic schedule as of late, I didn’t find an opportunity. Thankfully, I had some familiarity with the show after seeing it on the Tony Awards, listening to the soundtrack with the lyrics, and family members who saw it and shared the highlights.
Plus, Paul kept me in the loop on some of the goings-on whenever the light was bright enough for me to read his lips. The acting was exaggerated enough for me to figure out a few things on my own and laugh along with the audience.
Despite set backs, I loved the show. The costumes, the sets, the choreography, the upbeat songs, and the action were fabulous. In fact, the local critic said it was a perfect show with only a couple of technical problems where the audience couldn’t hear certain notes.


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  1. That bites you weren’t able to see the play in OC.. Did you ask the box office to speak with a manager or supervisor and let them know your disappointment?
    This situation reminded me of one time I went to the movie theater and the movie listed as OC.. I went in and bought the tickets for my friends. We all are Deaf, so we went in the movie theater and found out it was Rear View captioning! The management had us take those gray glass panels to use for trying to see the reflections. By the time each one of us were able to see the words on the glass panel, we were 10 minutes into the film! After 5 minutes, my roommate complained of a huge headache. He couldn’t stand quickly focusing on the red words and refocusing back on the movie screen. We all had it, walked out to the front. I demanded to see a manager and handed all the glass panels to her, then demanded a refund for each of us. The manager was going to say that we aren’t getting our refunds. I told her, I would be more than happy to come back if it was open captioned. She checked the schedule and found out the actual OC film was going to be shown a week later.
    My point is, ALWAYS make sure the management knows! So, next time they have a Deaf or Hard of Hearing customer, they would be more prepared to answer and meet their needs.

    • Karen on April 20, 2007 at 11:32 am
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    I went to it in Chicago. I absolutely love it even tho I abhorred any type of plays.
    I had the script book. I asked for it and they gave it to me altho I had to give up my drivers license for the afternoon. With a flashlight, I was able to follow the play and recommended this highly to anyone. And go see the play!! Fabulous show!

  2. Karen, I was curious as to whether the light would bother other attendees. So I assume no one was bothered? That’s great.
    Deaf 258, I’ve left a message for the main boss about my disappointment. We’ll see if he follows up. As for Rear View Window — I learned by fluke the best place to adjust it is so the captions appear at the bottom of the movie screen not off the movie screen. I know sometimes the screen gets light and makes it hard to read, but it worked like regular captions.
    I worried about the laptop light bothering people since that’s heckuva lot brighter than a cell phone and some people noticed the light from a cell phone that was open for a minute.

  3. I saw Wicked last year with my daughter and a friend and her daughter. We signed up for the interpreted performance and they had put us in the 22nd row. We obtained the manager and they moved us off to the side in the front, an even worse position. But the play had started and we were stuck. We were able to move after intermission and get a full refund.

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