Former Elphaba Eden Espinosa Returns to Wicked in San Francisco as Tour Star Block Rests

News   Former Elphaba Eden Espinosa Returns to Wicked in San Francisco as Tour Star Block Rests Eden Espinosa, the original Broadway standby for the role of Elphaba in Wicked, will defy gravity as the green-skinned witch again for the national tour's San Francisco stop at the Orpheum Theatre while Stephanie J. Block recovers from an injury.

Eden Espinosa in Brooklyn
Eden Espinosa in Brooklyn Photo by Joan Marcus

San Francisco gets Wicked Aug. 5-Sept. 11, marking the musical's return to its pre-Broadway home. It premiered there in the summer of 2003.

"Stephanie J. Block suffered a back and neck injury just as performances were about to begin in Toronto for the start of the national tour of Wicked," stated producer David Stone. "She has been slowly recovering as she has continued to perform — magnificently, I might add — but her doctors feel that the only way for her to completely heal the soft-tissue damage is to take a few weeks for substantial rest and physical therapy. We look forward to her rejoining us in Denver."

Block, who stars as Elphaba in the national tour, will finish the run at Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre through July 31 and rejoin the tour in Denver (beginning Sept. 16) after San Francisco.

"We are so pleased that Eden Espinosa, who was our thrilling Elphaba standby in the original Broadway cast, has agreed to join us in San Francisco — the city where Wicked was born,” said Stone.

Espinosa, who starred as the title character in the recent Broadway musical Brooklyn, joins Kendra Kassebaum (Assassins) who plays the golden-locked Glinda. The touring company also includes 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.

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.