By Andrew Gans
31 May 2005
As previously announced, former "Saturday Night Live" star Ana Gasteyer will head the cast as the green-faced Elphaba. Chicago's own Rondi Reed and Gene Weygandt will play the roles of, respectively, Madame Morrible and The Wizard.
Playbill.com has also learned that the Chicago cast will feature Kate Reinders as Glinda, Kristoffer Cusick as Fiyero, Heidi Kettenring as Nessa Rose, Telly Leung as Boq and Steven Skybell as Dillamond. The ensemble comprises Christina Bailey, Dioni M. Collins, Jason Davies, Courtney Corey, Delandis, Jeff Dumas, Peter Ermides, Sarah Jane Everman, Kristina Fernandez, Adam Fleming, Sara Ford, Jay Gamlin, Jacqui Graziano, Colleen Hieber, Mahi Kekumu, Barrett Martin, Vanessa McMahan, Don Richard, Rozlyn Roberson, Ashley Ronbinson, Kathy Santen, Ryan Silverman and Ryan Weiss.
The open-ended Wicked run follows the April 29-June 12 engagement of the Stephen Schwartz musical, which features the touring cast led by Stephanie J. Block as Elphaba and Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda.
Kristoffer Cusick's Broadway credits include Wicked and Saturday Night Fever. He also starred as Angel in the first national tour of Rent.
A Chicago-based actress, Heidi Kettenring has appeared in productions of Funny Girl, Sunset Boulevard and Side Show.
Telly Leung made his Broadway debut in the revival of Flower Drum Song and recently appeared in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures. His other theatrical credits include Zanna, Don't!; Thoroughly Modern Millie; The King and I; Jesus Christ Superstar; and Children of Eden.
Steven Skybell has been seen on Broadway in The Full Monty; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Cafe Crown; and Ah, Wilderness. He received an Obie Award for his work in Antigone in NY, and his other Off-Broadway credits include The Exact Center of the Universe, The Food Chain and Richard II.
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, with a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. The Broadway company — directed by Joe Mantello, who will repeat his duties for the upcoming Chicago production — continues to play the Gershwin Theatre.
Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre is located at 24 West Randolph Street. Tickets for Wicked are available at all Broadway in Chicago box offices (22 W. Monroe Street, 24 W. Randolph Street and 151 West Randolph Street) or by calling (312) 902-1400.
For more information about Wicked visit www.wickedthemusical.com.