More Magic to Do: Pippin Tony Winner Ben Vereen to Be Wicked's Next Wizard, May 31

News   More Magic to Do: Pippin Tony Winner Ben Vereen to Be Wicked's Next Wizard, May 31 Pippin Tony Award winner Ben Vereen is returning to Broadway in another Stephen Schwartz musical. He'll play the Wizard in Wicked, starting May 31, a production spokesperson confirmed.

The actor will take over the role originated on Broadway by Cabaret's Joel Grey and currently played by George Hearn, a two-time Tony Award winner for his work in Sunset Boulevard and La Cage aux Folles. A star of stage and screen, Ben Vereen made his Broadway debut as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance. He nabbed the Tony for his work in Bob Fosse's production of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin (singing "Magic to Do") and has also starred on Broadway in Grind, Jelly's Last Jam and Fosse. The recent revival of I'm Not Rappaport marked Vereen's non-musical Broadway debut. Vereen was nominated for Emmy Awards for his performances in "Roots," "Intruders" and 1976's "The Bell Telephone Jubilee." He also received Golden Globe nominations for his work in "Funny Lady" and "Ellis Island."

With a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. The musical just earned the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album for the popular Decca Broadway original cast recording.

Directed by Joe Mantello, Wicked features choreography by Wayne Cilento and plays the Gershwin, 222 West 51st Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307 4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

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