Kerry Ellis, who currently plays Elphaba in the London production of Wicked, will join the New York cast of the hit Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical this summer.
Ellis will play her final performance at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre June 7; she will begin her New York run as the not-so-wicked green-faced witch June 17. Following her Broadway run, Ellis is scheduled to return to the London production.
Ellis, who is the first British actress to play Elphaba, portrayed Fantine in Les MisÚrables at the Queen's Theatre and Ellen in the national tour of Miss Saigon. She created the role of Meat in the London cast of We Will Rock You and has also been seen in productions of My Fair Lady and Merrily We Roll Along.
Ellis is also currently at work on her debut solo recording, which is being produced by Brian May for release later this year.
The New York production of Wicked currently features Stephanie J. Block as Elphaba, Annaleigh Ashford as Glinda, David Burnham as Fiyero, Miriam Margolyes as Madame Morrible, Lenny Wolpe as The Wizard, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Ben Leibert as Boq and Steven Skybell as Dr. Dillamond.
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.
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.
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