New Production of Wicked to Open in Los Angeles

News   New Production of Wicked to Open in Los Angeles Los Angeles will become the latest city to host an open-ended run of the smash hit musical Wicked. The Stephen Schwartz musical will begin performances at the Pantages Theatre Feb. 9, 2007.

Eden Espinosa in the current Broadway company of Wicked
Eden Espinosa in the current Broadway company of Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus

The L.A. run will follow Wicked productions on Broadway (at the Gershwin Theatre), in Chicago (Ford Center for the Performing Arts' Oriental Theatre) and in the West End (previews begin Sept. 7 at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre) as well as the show's national tour. Casting for the Pantages production will be announced at a later date.

Wicked will play the Pantages Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 PM.

In a statement, Wicked producer Marc Platt said, "The reception to Wicked in Los Angeles during its sold-out seven-week run in the summer of 2005 exceeded our wildest expectations. The enthusiasm generated by the audiences at the Pantages Theatre – just a few short miles away from my offices at Universal Studios where Wicked was created – was unlike the response in any other city that the show has played. It was during that run that we began to formulate the plan for a company of the show just for Los Angeles."

Producer David Stone added, "After watching the excitement for Wicked at the Pantages last year, we felt that there would be a wide audience base in Southern California for a Los Angeles company. We are planning to make Los Angeles a home for Wicked as long as the public’s demand for our show will allow."

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. With a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, after a summer tryout at San Francisco's Curran Theatre.

The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets for the production, priced $25-$88, are now only available to subscribers of Broadway/L.A. by calling (866) 755-2929, or for groups of 15 or more by calling (866) 755-3075. Visit www.broadwayla.org for more information.

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