The 7:30 PM May 14 performance of the hit musical at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts' Oriental Theatre will benefit the non-profit organization. The Chicago company of Wicked currently co-stars Kristy Cates as the green-faced Elphaba and Stacie Morgain Lewis as the curly-locked Glinda.
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, with a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. Joe Mantello, who directed the Broadway company, repeated his duties for the Chicago production. The creative team also features Eugene Lee (set design), Susan Hilferty (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design), Tony Meola (sound design) and Stephen Oremus (musical director).
Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre is located at 24 West Randolph Street. Tickets for Wicked are available at all Broadway in Chicago box offices (22 W. Monroe Street, 24 W. Randolph Street and 151 West Randolph Street) or by calling (312) 902-1400.
The Actors' Fund, which was founded in 1882, is a non-profit organization that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Some of the many programs The Actors' Fund provides include a nursing home and assisted living care facility; senior and disabled programs; mental health services; chemical dependency services; entertainment industry assistance programs; the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative; the AIDS Initiative; and supportive housing on both coasts. For more information visit www.actorsfund.org.