Monday, July 24, 2006

Jaaku or Neikan? Wicked Set for Japanese Translation

Jaaku or Neikan? Wicked Set for Japanese Translation

Need further proof that the musical phenomenon known as Wicked is going global? Look no further than Japan where Universal Studios -- producer of the Broadway show -- has launched "Land of Oz" at its theme park there.

"Land of Oz" opened on July 12 at Universal Studios Japan and features "Munchkin Town," which is described as "the land filled with fun and playfulness that appears in the original story, the sparkling 'Emerald City' and the 'Yellow Brick Road leading to it will all appear, filling this area with motifs from the 'Wizard of Oz!'" Alongside a show called "Toto & Friends" is an abbreviated English language "special version (of Wicked) packed with famous stirring scenes" concluding with "Defying Gravity." I always thought the song "One Short Day" was perfectly suited to a theme park commercial, but I never expected it to land in Japan first. (Don't expect Universal Studios in California or Florida to feature Wicked vignettes anytime soon.)

According to Variety, the tuner is also being completely translated into Japanese with all but 30% already finished for a regular theatrical run beyond Universal Studios. Wicked -- "jaaku" or "neikan" in Japanese -- is being readied for a 2007 opening. If Japan's thirst for American culture holds sway and makes Wicked a true worldwide success (together with the hotly anticipated September launch of the West End version), then perhaps we're one step closer to a silver screen version of this truly popular musical.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Universal Studios Japan information.
Related Stories:
Julia Murney: Worth the "Waiting" (July 20, 2006)
Five Times More Wicked (July 17, 2006)
Rejoicify and Festivate! Chicago's Wicked Celebrates First Anniversary (June 16, 2006)
Wicked Becomes Broadway's 8th Overall Cumulative Grosser Among Current Hits (June 2, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2003-04 (May 25, 2006)
Approaching One Year, Chicago's Wicked Continues to Captivate (May 23, 2006)
Wicked's West End Witches Update (May 17, 2006)
Worldwide Wicked Casting News (May 5, 2006)
Encore: Spotlight Week Ending April 30, 2006 (April 30, 2006)


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