Ashanti, Bean, Behar, Block, Cantone and More Set for Yellow Brick Road Not Taken Concert
17 Oct 2008
Stephanie J. Block
Initial casting has been announced for The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, a selection of scenes and songs cut from early drafts of the hit musical Wicked that will be presented Oct. 27 at the Gershwin Theatre.
Matt Lenz will direct the concert, which celebrates Wicked's fifth anniversary on Broadway. The evening, which will feature musical direction by Ben Cohn, benefits the New York Restoration Project.
"I'm thrilled with the ongoing support of Wicked to NYRP," said Bette Midler, Founder of the New York Restoration Project, beneficiary of the evening. "Show people have big hearts. I can't tell you how unusual it is for an organization to come to me with an offer to help. I usually have to go to them and convince them that what we are doing is good. I thank everyone at Wicked from the bottom of my heart for their generous and loving support."
In the upcoming concert, press notes state, "Wicked composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and book writer Winnie Holzman will share some of the scenes and songs from early drafts of the musical blockbuster. . . .Featuring never-before-seen material performed publicly for the first time, as well as songs cut during the show's development and pre-Broadway engagement, this one-night-only event will tell the story of Wicked the way it's never been told before and will illuminate the various paths the writers took in creating what has become one of the most popular Broadway musicals."
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.
Tickets for the concert, priced $100-$250 (performance only) and $350-$1,000 (VIP seats), are now available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.