Benjamin Will Be Wicked's New Wizard Beginning July 29

News   Benjamin Will Be Wicked's New Wizard Beginning July 29 P.J. Benjamin, who spent six years playing put-upon husband Amos Hart in the revival of Kander and Ebb's Chicago, will join the hit Broadway production of Wicked July 29, according to a show spokesperson.
P.J. Benjamin in Wicked
P.J. Benjamin in Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus

Benjamin will step into the role of The Wizard, a part he played in the musical's national touring company for nearly two years. The singing actor succeeds Lenny Wolpe in the role created on Broadway by Joel Grey.

Benjamin will join a cast that currently includes Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, Kerry Ellis as Elphaba, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Ben Liebert as Boq, Jayne Houdyshell as Madame Morrible, Steven Skybell as Doctor Dillamond and Aaron Tveit as Fiyero.

In addition to Chicago, P.J. Benjamin has been seen on Broadway in Torch Song Trilogy, Sophisticated Ladies, Charlie and Algernon, Pippin, The Pajama Game and Sarava. He can also be seen in "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU" and is the voice of Sgt. Dodo Bird in "Ice Age." Benjamin is married to actress Louisa Flaningam.

Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The two main characters meet at Shiz, a school where both hope to take up sorcery. Glinda is madly popular and Elphaba is, well, green. By a misunderstanding, they wind up roommates and, after an initial period of mutual loathing, begin to learn something about each other. Their life paths continue to intersect through a shared love, entry into the Emerald City and interaction with the Wizard himself. Eventually, their choices and convictions take them on widely different paths.

Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott. The Broadway company plays the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.