Hearn is once again playing the role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz during Ben Vereen's vacation. Vereen, who succeeded Hearn in the role, will return to the company Feb. 3.
George Hearn won Tony Awards for his performances in La Cage aux Folles and Sunset Boulevard and was also nominated for his work in Watch on the Rhine, A Doll's Life and Putting It Together. Hearn's other Broadway credits include Meet Me in St. Louis; Ghetto; Ah, Wilderness!; Whodunnit; I Remember Mama; Sweeney Todd: An Almost Perfect Person; Hamlet; The Changing Room; 1776; and A Time for Singing.
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 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 - continues to play the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
The Gershwin Theatre is located at 222 West 51st Street, between Eighth Avenue and Broadway.