By Andrew Gans
16 Jan 2009
Parker succeeds Marcie Dodd as the misunderstood, green-faced Elphaba, the role created by Tony winner Idina Menzel.
The actress joins a cast that includes Alli Mauzey as Glinda, Jayne Houdyshell as Madame Morrible, P.J. Benjamin as The Wizard, Kevin Kern as Fiyero, Alex Brightman as Boq, Brynn O'Malley as Nessarose and Timothy Britten Parker as Dr. Dillamond.
Aaron Tveit, who is currently starring in the Arena Stage production of Next to Normal, will return to the role of Fiyero Jan. 20.
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.
Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. 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 and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.
Wicked won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty) and Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee).
The Gershwin Theatre is located in Manhattan at 222 West 51st Street. For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.