Block and Ashford Fly Into Broadway's Wicked Oct. 9

News   Block and Ashford Fly Into Broadway's Wicked Oct. 9 Stephanie J. Block, who played Elphaba in the workshop of Wicked and who also kicked off the hit musical's national tour, joins the Broadway company of the Stephen Schwartz musical in the role of that green-faced witch Oct. 9.
Stephanie J. Block in Wicked.
Stephanie J. Block in Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus

The company also welcomes a new Glinda at the 7 PM performance: Annaleigh Ashford, who recently made her Broadway debut as Margot in Legally Blonde. The actress also understudied the role of Glinda in the show's national tour.

Block and Ashford join a cast that includes Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible, Lenny Wolpe as The Wizard, Sebastian Arcelus as Fiyero, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Logan Lipton as Boq and Steven Skybell as Dr. Dillamond.

Julia Murney and Kendra Kassebaum offered their final performances in the roles of Elphaba and Glinda Oct. 7.

Stephanie J. Block was most recently on Broadway in the new musical The Pirate Queen, which ended its run June 17. The singing actress created the role of Liza Minnelli in the Peter Allen biomusical The Boy From Oz. She portrayed Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked, earning a Helen Hayes Award for her performance. Block's regional credits include Funny Girl, Crazy for You (L.A. Ovation Award nomination), Oliver (Critics Award, Best Actress) and James Joyce's The Dead.

With a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, after a summer tryout at San Francisco's Curran Theatre. 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.

The Broadway company, directed by Joe Mantello, plays the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.