Proceeds from the 7:30 PM performance of the Stephen Schwartz musical, which begins previews Sept. 7 at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, will benefit the fundraising organization. The Elton John AIDS Foundation has funded over 400 projects in the U.K. as well as 4,000 projects in 55 countries. Over 12 million people have been assisted by the Foundation. Wicked will officially open in the West End Sept. 27. The cast comprises Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Helen Dillamore as Glinda, Adam Garcia as Fiyero, Miriam Margolyes as Madame Morrible, Nigel Planer as The Wizard, Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose, James Gillan as Boq and Martin Ball as Doctor Dillamond. Kerry Ellis will be the standby for Elphaba, and she is scheduled to succeed Tony winner Menzel in January 2007. Annalene Beechey will be the standby for 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.
Tickets for the Sept. 19 performance are priced £75 and £250 (VIP tickets include a post-show supper). Call 0870 4000 751 for regular-priced tickets and 020 7348 4840 for the VIP seats.