Original "Wizard of Oz" Munchkin Gets Wicked May 13

News   Original "Wizard of Oz" Munchkin Gets Wicked May 13 Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin Coroner in the classic "Wizard of Oz" film, will head to New York City next week to catch a performance of the hit new musical Wicked.

Meinhardt and Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz
Meinhardt and Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz Photo by Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The 89-year-old Raabe will attend the May 13 performance of the Stephen Schwartz musical, which tells the back story of "Wizard of Oz" witches Glinda and Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West). Raabe will be accompanied by writer Daniel Kinske, who recently helped the former screen actor pen his forthcoming autobiography.

In the 1939 "Wizard of Oz" film, Raabe uttered the classic line, "She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." He is the second oldest of the nine remaining Munchkins. There were 124 actors used to portray Munchkins in the original film.

Wicked, which officially opened Oct. 30, 2003, stars Idina Menzel as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda. The cast also includes Tony and Academy Award winner Joel Grey as The Wizard, Norbert Leo Butz as Fiyero, Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible, Michelle Federer as Nessarose, Christopher Fitzgerald as Boq and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamand. The original cast recording is available on the Decca Broadway label.

Directed by Joe Mantello — a 2003 Tony Award winner for Take Me OutWicked boasts a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and choreography by Wayne Cilento. The creative team includes Eugene Lee (set design), Susan Hilferty (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design), Tony Meola (sound design), Stephen Oremus (musical director), William David Brohn (orchestrations) and Jim Abbott (dance arrangements).

Wicked plays the Gershwin Theatre, located in Manhattan at 222 West 51st Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

Meinhardt and writer Daniel Kinske with Kirby Hamilton's farmhouse model
Meinhardt and writer Daniel Kinske with Kirby Hamilton's farmhouse model