Academy Award Winner Duke to Join Cast of San Fran's Wicked
By Andrew Gans
Patty Duke, who won an Academy Award for her performance as Helen Keller in the 1962 film "The Miracle Worker," will step into the role of Madame Morrible in the San Francisco production of Wicked, which is currently playing the Orpheum Theatre.
Duke will succeed Carol Kane, who concludes her limited engagement March 22. Duke's first performance is scheduled for March 24.
The open-ended run of Wicked also currently stars Teal Wicks (L.A. Wicked, national tour of Pippin) and Kendra Kassebaum (Broadway's Wicked, Off-Broadway's The Receptionist) as, respectively, the green-faced, misunderstood Elphaba and the curly-locked Glinda, with David Garrison as The Wizard.
The company also features Nicolas Dromard as Fiyero, Tom Flynn as Dr. Dillamond, Deedee Magno Hall as Nessarose and Eddy Rioseco as Boq with Natalie Daradich as the standby for Glinda and understudy for Nessarose and Vicki Noon as the standby for Elphaba.
The ensemble comprises Kehau Ahu, Keith A. Bearden, Angela Ara Brown, Marcus Choi, Laura Dysarczyk, Fiama Fricano, Alexa Green, D.J. Gregory, Celisse Henderson, Zach Hensler, Holly Hyman, Jeremy Kocal, Allison Leo, Everth Lopez, Kyle McDaniel, Kristen Faith Oei, Laura Pugliese, Angel Reda, Jonathan Ritter, Phillip Spaeth, Terrance Spencer, Eric Stretch, Tim Talman and Neka Zang.
Patty Duke — who also goes by her non-stage name Anna Pearce — became famous after starring as Helen Keller in the original Broadway production and the subsequent film adaptation of The Miracle Worker, winning a 1962 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She went on to star in her own sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show." Duke was most recently seen on Broadway playing Aunt Eller in the revival of Oklahoma!
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).
Tickets for the San Francisco production of Wicked are available by visiting ticketmaster.com/wicked or by calling (415) 512-7770. Tickets are also available at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office (1192 Market at 8th Street).
For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.
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