Henry, Parker, Reichard and Reinders Join Line-Up for Yellow Brick Road Not Taken Concert
By Andrew Gans
Casting is now complete 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. Show time is 7:30 PM.
Newcomers to the evening include P.J. Benjamin, Cristy Candler, Buck Henry, Ben Liebert, Timothy Britten Parker, Daniel Reichard, Kate Reinders and George Wendt.
These artists join the previously announced Grammy winner Ashanti, Shoshana Bean, Joy Behar, Stephanie J. Block, Mario Cantone, Michelle Federer, Mark Indelicato, Matthew Settle and Jennifer Laura Thompson.
The evening will also feature current Wicked cast members Sonshine Allen, Jerad Bortz, Adam Fleming, Anthony Galde, Kristen Leigh Gorski, Reed Kelly, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Kyle Dean Massey, Lindsay K. Northen, Robert Pendilla, Amanda Rose, Heather Spore, CJ Tyson, Brian Wanee, Jonathan Warren, Katie Webber, Robin Wilner, and Samantha Zack.
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.
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