Houdyshell will again portray the evil Madame Morrible. A month earlier, on May 14, the cast will welcome the return of Kendra Kassebaum, who created the role of Glinda for Wicked's national tour and also played a previous Broadway stint as the curly locked witch.
The New York company of Wicked currently features Annaleigh Ashford as Glinda, Stephanie J. Block as Elphaba, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Ben Liebert as Boq, Miriam Margolyes as Madame Morrible, David Burnham as Fiyero and Lenny Wolpe as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As previously announced, Annaleigh Ashford will begin performances as Glinda in the Chicago production of Wicked June 3.
Jayne Houdyshell received a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway production of Well and an Obie Award as well as Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for her work in that show's Off-Broadway mounting at the Public Theater. Her numerous theatrical credits also include The Receptionist, Much Ado About Nothing, Fighting Words, True Love, Attempts on Her Life, The Pain and the Itch (Jefferson Award) and The Clean House. On screen Houdyshell has been seen in "Garden State," "Changing Lanes," "Maid in Manhattan," "Conviction" and "Law & Order."
Kendra Kassebaum, who created the role of Glinda in the national tour of Wicked, has been seen on Broadway in Rent and the Tony-winning revival of Assassins. She has toured in productions of A Chorus Line and Grease and has numerous regional theatre credits. Kassebaum also appeared on TV's long-running "Guiding Light." 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 features a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.
The Broadway company plays the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.