Report: Norbert Leo Butz Gets Wicked in Schwartz's Broadway-Bound Musical

News   Report: Norbert Leo Butz Gets Wicked in Schwartz's Broadway-Bound Musical Norbert Leo Butz will portray the handsome young Fiyero in Wicked, the Broadway-bound Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical based on Gregory Maguire's book of the same title, Variety reported.

Norbert Leo Butz will portray the handsome young Fiyero in Wicked, the Broadway-bound Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical based on Gregory Maguire's book of the same title, Variety reported.

Also joining the cast, which stars Idina Menzel as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, is Carole Shelley who will play the headmistress of the school attended by both witches, Madame Morrible.

Butz most recently appeared on Broadway as one third of the sordid love triangle at the center of Thou Shalt Not, winning a Tony Award nomination. His Broadway debut was as Roger in Rent. Other credits include The Last Five Years at the Minetta Lane Theatre and the national tour of Cabaret, in which he played the Emcee.

Shelley won a Tony for the original Broadway production of The Elephant Man. She most recently performed on Broadway as Fraulein Schneider in the Roundabout's revival of Cabaret. Other credits include The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Show Boat and Noises Off.

Casting for other roles, including the (infamous) Wizard of Oz, Nessarose (Elphaba's crippled sister, the Wicked Witch of the East), Boq and Dr. Dillamond, a talking goat and professor at Shiz, has not yet been announced. Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire ("Lost," "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister"), which purports to tell the true story of Elphaba, "Oz"'s Wicked Witch of the West. Raised in the backwaters of Oz but sent to school in the city, the future Wicked Witch suffers through her dormmate Glinda's prissy behavior, becomes a radical animal rights activist (when the Wizard arrives, he immediately reduces all animals, even the talking ones, to their former roles as beasts of burden and food) and falls in love. She is first a revolutionary, then a reclusive ruler, disgusted by the tactics of her armless sister's tyrannical religious regime and her schoolmate Glinda's pompous royalty. Maguire conceived "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" as a funny and twisted look at how good and evil is perceived.

Schwartz, creator of the hits "Godspell" and "Pippin," is writing the score with a book by Winnie Holzman. In recent New York readings, Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) played Glinda, the Good Witch, with Idina Menzel of Rent as her polar opposite, Elphaba.

Joe Mantello is directing with choreography by Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who's Tommy).

Wicked will play the Curran through May 18, 2003. It will continue on to Broadway in October, 2003 with an opening expected on Halloween at a theatre-to-be-announced.