Block to Make Wicked Debut March 25; New Opening Night Announced

News   Block to Make Wicked Debut March 25; New Opening Night Announced
 
Stephanie J. Block, the former Boy From Oz star who sustained a minor injury during the dress rehearsal for the Toronto premiere of Wicked, will make her debut as Elphaba in the Stephen Schwartz musical March 25.

A spokesperson for the musical confirmed that Block is scheduled to return to the musical March 25. The opening night of the national tour — originally scheduled for 20 — has been changed to March 31 to accommodate Block's recovery.

Wicked, which had been scheduled to begin March 8 at Toronto's Canon Theatre, played its first performance March 9 with Kristy Cates as Elphaba. Cates, a member of the Broadway ensemble of Wicked, was flown to Toronto as a temporary replacement for Block.

The national tour of Wicked, which will play the Ontario theatre through April 24, also stars Kendra Kassebaum (Glinda), David Garrison (the Wizard), Carol Kane (Madame Morrible), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), Logan Lipton (Boq) and Timothy Britten Parker (Dr. Dillamond).

The Wicked ensemble comprises Katie Adams, Timothy Anderson, Terra Lynn Arrington, Aaron Albano, Peter John Chursin, Matt Clemons, Nicholas Drommard, Laura Dysarczyk, Maria Eberline, Brooke Elliott, Lori Holmes, Adam Lambert, KW Miller, Kristen Oei, Chris Peluso, Don Richard, Emily Rozek, Chris Russo, Brian Slaman, James Tabeek, Barbara Tirrell, Brooke Wendle and Nicole Winhoffer.

Stephanie J. Block made her Broadway debut opposite Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz at the Imperial Theatre. She was part of the cast of the out of-town tryout of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked, and her numerous regional theatre credits include Funny Girl, Oliver!, James Joyce's The Dead, The Grass Harp, Bells Are Ringing and I Love a Piano. Block was a 2002 L.A. Ovation Award nominee for her performance in Crazy For You. Following its run at the Canon, Wicked will head to Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts, playing April 29-June 12. Wicked will then make a stop at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre, June 17-July 31, and is also scheduled to play San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre Aug. 4-Sept. 11. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Buell Theatre will offer Wicked Sept. 15-Oct. 2, and a Dallas engagement at Music Hall at Fair Park is set for Oct. 5-23. The hit musical will then play engagements at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL (Feb. 8-19, 2006) and at the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia, PA (beginning March 22, 2006).

Based on 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, with a book by Winnie Holzman, began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. The Broadway company — directed by Joe Mantello, who repeats his duties for the tour — continues to play the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets for Wicked's national tour are available by calling Ticketmaster at (312) 902-1400.

For more information about Wicked visit www.wickedthemusical.com.

From Left: Kendra Kassebaum and Stephanie J. Block in rehearsal for the national tour of <i>Wicked</i>
From Left: Kendra Kassebaum and Stephanie J. Block in rehearsal for the national tour of Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus
Today’s Most Popular News: