Very "Popular": Schwartz's Wicked To Tour in 2005

News   Very "Popular": Schwartz's Wicked To Tour in 2005 Stephen Schwartz fans around the country (and those of the witches of the classic film "The Wizard of Oz") have reason to rejoice. The hit new Broadway musical Wicked will tour.

Carole Shelley (left) and Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked
Carole Shelley (left) and Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus

David Stone, one of the producers of the Schwartz musical, confirmed to Playbill On-Line Dec. 8 that there are now plans for a national tour. "We are definitely planning a tour. It will go out in spring 2005, around March," said Stone. "We don't know where we're starting yet. We're figuring that out right now." Casting has yet to begin, but Stone did confirm that Joe Mantello will direct the production, as he did on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre.

Stone is naturally enthusiastic about the tour, given the success of the Broadway production, which has been at or near the 100 percent capacity mark the past few weeks. "We're very happy," Stone said. "What's nice is not just the grosses, but the advance has grown by a lot every single week, and now it's a substantial advance." Stone said the musical's advance is now nearly 12 million dollars.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The musical, which officially opened Oct. 30, stars former Renter 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, Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible, Michelle Federer as Nessarose, Christopher Fitzgerald as Boq and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamand.

With a score by Schwartz, a book by Holzman and direction by Mantello, Wicked features choreography by Wayne Cilento. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.