Wicked Composer Schwartz Makes Changes for Broadway's New Wizard

News   Wicked Composer Schwartz Makes Changes for Broadway's New Wizard Slight alterations have been made in the role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, now being played by Tony Award winner George Hearn.
Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz
Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz Photo by Morgan Allen

On July 20 George Hearn replaced Joel Grey as the Wizard in the hit musical Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre. Grey has been out of the show since mid-June and is currently on an extended leave of absence.

In "The Schwartz Scene," an e-mail newsletter to Stephen Schwartz fans, the Tony-nominated composer writes, "As many of you know, Wicked has now run long enough that some of our principal actors have left us, but excellent replacements have taken over. This led to another interesting and fun assignment — I have slightly rewritten the Wizard's song, 'Wonderful,' so that it fits better with our superb new Wizard, George Hearn, who has taken over for Joel Grey. It's always satisfying to me to make those small adjustments so that a role works better for an individual performer, and I enjoyed the opportunity to get to write a bit with the delightful Mr. Hearn."

George Hearn won Tony Awards for his performances in La Cage aux Folles and Sunset Boulevard and was also nominated for his work in Watch on the Rhine, A Doll's Life and Putting It Together. Hearn's other Broadway credits include Meet Me in St. Louis; Ghetto; Ah, Wilderness!; Whodunnit; I Remember Mama; Sweeney Todd: An Almost Perfect Person; Hamlet; The Changing Room; 1776; and A Time for Singing.

With a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and direction by Joe Mantello, Wicked features choreography by Wayne Cilento and plays the Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

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