Wicked to Open in Australia in Summer 2008

News   Wicked to Open in Australia in Summer 2008 The international hit musical Wicked, which features a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, will arrive in Melbourne in 2008.

The Australian production, which will open at Melbourne's Regent Theatre in July 2008, will be the fourth international production of the acclaimed musical that tell's the back story of the "Wizard of Oz" witches. Other foreign productions include the London mounting at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, which opened in September 2006; and the forthcoming Tokyo (performances begin in June) and Germany (performances begin in Stuttgart in November) companies.

Wicked also plays Broadway's Gershwin Theatre, Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre and Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre as well as the national tour.

In a statement Wicked producer David Stone said, "We're delighted that Melbourne will be the home for the fourth international production of Wicked. We're looking forward to working with John Frost and the Gordon/Frost Organization and know that Australian audiences will be just as enchanted by Wicked as the audiences are in America and England."

The Premiere of Victoria, Steve Bracks, added, "Wicked has received worldwide critical acclaim and it is a real testament to the strength of Melbourne's reputation as the theatre capital of Australia that the producers have chosen to premiere the show in Victoria. Following the successes of The Lion King, The Producers and Miss Saigon, as well as the forthcoming Australian premiere of Monty Python's Spamalot, these entertainment offerings are an integral part of Melbourne's truly comprehensive events calendar."

Casting will be announced at a later date. 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.

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