Give It A Spin
We’re all subject to the wheel of fortune, but not all get to watch it turn onstage. Austinites are the lucky ones on January 25, 2023, when “Wheel of Fortune Live” comes to the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. The “theatrical experience” is not exactly the same as the long-running game show — since it’s not broadcast — but there are still opportunities to win big prizes.
The Sony Pictures Television-backed stage show is the only official experience outside of the filmed show, and it’s traveling across the country to make sure everyone gets a chance to see it. The tour will also stop in Grand Prairie January 24, San Antonio on January 26, and Houston on January 27.
Although hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White, arguably even more iconic than the wheel that serves as the main game mechanic, are sitting this one out, there will be new celebrities carrying the torch.
Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg and singer Clay Aiken will split hosting duties depending on the date, and it is yet undecided who will host at any of the four Texas shows, all in 2023. The wheel, of course, will be there — or at least a replica. Audience members will be invited to compete for prizes including $10,000 in cash and trips abroad.
Wheel of Fortune (referring to a metaphor hundreds of years old, which compares fate to a wheel that ensures someone will not always be up or down) has been on air since 1975, now encompassing a catalog of several thousands of episodes. Amazingly, the show changes very little from episode to episode, but has kept viewers entertained with endless puzzles. Some younger viewers may vaguely recognize the show or newly engage with it, especially thanks to a new celebrity variation, which has cultural icons like Snoop Dogg making questionable guesses like “baking onions.”
Three contestants face a series of crossword-like word puzzles, which they need to solve by guessing letters as allowed by a buying system. For each turn, they spin the wheel of fortune, which randomly lands on a dollar amount, prize, or penalty. “I’d like to buy a vowel,” is a seemingly odd and recognizable phrase from this unique game, which turns the resource management of board games into actual stakes, as the players spend winnings they hope to walk away with at the end of the show.
Unlike games like Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, this game is especially audience-participant friendly, as it doesn’t require any special knowledge past being a quick thinker, and occasionally knowing common English phrases.
Presale for “Wheel of Fortune Live” ($34.50) is open now. General sales open on November 18 at 10 am, and you can visit wheeloffortunelive.com to see all tour dates.