As previously announced, the sit-down production of Wicked is scheduled to begin performances at the L.A. theatre Feb. 10, 2007. Both Espinosa and Hilty have played their roles on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre.
Eden Espinosa made her Broadway debut covering the roles of Elphaba and Nessarose in Stephen Schwartz's Wicked. She eventually assumed the role of Elphaba on Broadway. Espinosa also played the role of Brooklyn — a part she created at the Denver Civic Theatre — in the musical of the same name at the Schoenfeld Theatre, and she recently made her solo concert debut at New York's Town Hall. The actress began singing at the age of three, performing at the age of five and recording at the age of ten.
Megan Hilty made her Broadway debut as a standby for the role of Glinda, later taking over the Wicked role. She appeared in the musical Café Puttanesca at Pittsburgh's City Theatre and was also seen in Suds at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Hilty is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon's theatre program.
The L.A. run will follow Wicked productions on Broadway (at the Gershwin Theatre), in Chicago (Ford Center for the Performing Arts' Oriental Theatre) and in the West End (at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre) as well as the show's national tour.
Wicked will play the Pantages Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale by calling 213-365-3500 or 714-740-7878, by logging on to www.BroadwayLA.org or by visiting the Pantages Theatre box office. In a previous statement, Wicked producer Marc Platt said, "The reception to Wicked in Los Angeles during its sold-out seven-week run in the summer of 2005 exceeded our wildest expectations. The enthusiasm generated by the audiences at the Pantages Theatre — just a few short miles away from my offices at Universal Studios where Wicked was created — was unlike the response in any other city that the show has played. It was during that run that we began to formulate the plan for a company of the show just for Los Angeles."
Producer David Stone added, "After watching the excitement for Wicked at the Pantages last year, we felt that there would be a wide audience base in Southern California for a Los Angeles company. We are planning to make Los Angeles a home for Wicked as long as the public’s demand for our show will allow."
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 Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.