Menzel, opposite the Glinda of Helen Dallimore, opened the London production of the musical, once again playing the role of the green-faced, misunderstood Elphaba that she created on Broadway to Tony-winning effect. The London mounting of Wicked began previews Sept. 7 and officially opened Sept. 27.
The West End company will welcome its new Elphaba, Kerry Ellis, Jan. 1, 2007. Ellis, who has been Menzel's standby, played Fantine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre and Ellen in the national tour of Miss Saigon.
Idina Menzel won a Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Elphaba in Wicked. She created the role of Maureen in the original Broadway company of Rent, and her other theatrical credits include the City Center Encores! production of Hair, the Manhattan Theatre Club The Wild Party, the Public Theater's See What I Wanna See and the benefit Funny Girl concert. Menzel's film credits include "Ask the Dust" and "Rent."
Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn, dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and musical supervision-direction by Gareth Valentine.
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. Wicked recently extended its booking period at the Apollo Victoria until June 30, 2007. Tickets for this new block of seats — Feb. 26-June 30, 2007 — are now on sale.
For more on Wicked call (0)870 594 9494.