Well's Houdyshell to Join N.Y. Wicked

News   Well's Houdyshell to Join N.Y. Wicked Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell, recently seen in the New York premiere of The Pain and the Itch at Playwrights Horizons, is set to make her Broadway musical debut.
Jayne Houdyshell and Jim Dale.
Jayne Houdyshell and Jim Dale. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Houdyshell told Playbill.com columnist Harry Haun that she is scheduled to join the Broadway company of Wicked in the role of Madame Morrible. "Next week I go into rehearsal to replace Carol Kane," said the respected actress, who has appeared in plays all over the country.

No official Wicked starting date for Houdyshell has been announced.

Jayne Houdyshell received a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway production of Well and an Obie Award as well as Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for her work in that show's Off-Broadway mounting at the Public Theater. Her numerous theatrical credits also include Much Ado About Nothing, Fighting Words, True Love, Attempts on Her Life, The Pain and the Itch (Jefferson Award) and The Clean House. On screen Houdyshell has been seen in "Garden State," "Changing Lanes," "Maid in Manhattan," "Conviction" and "Law & Order."

Wicked currently stars Ana Gasteyer (Elphaba), Kate Reinders (Glinda), David Garrison (the Wizard), Carol Kane (Madame Morrible), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), Logan Lipton (Boq) and Steven Skybell (Dr. Dillamond).

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. 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.

The Broadway company, directed by Joe Mantello, plays the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.