Tony winner Shelley will join a cast that currently includes Julia Murney as Elphaba, Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, Lenny Wolpe as The Wizard, Sebastian Arcelus as Fiyero, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Logan Lipton as Boq, and Steven Skybell as Dr. Dillamond.
Shelley will succeed Jayne Houdyshell, who plays her final performance at the Gershwin Theatre Aug. 26.
Carole Shelley made her Broadway debut as Gwendolyn Pigeon in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple and has since played roles in Cabaret, Show Boat, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, The Miser, Noises Off, The Norman Conquests, Stepping Out, Absurd Person Singular and The Elephant Man. She earned Tony Award nominations for her work in Absurd Person Singular and Stepping Out and won the Tony for The Elephant Man. Shelley was also seen at the Barrington Stage Company as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.
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.