Cates and Lewis Will Head Cast of Chicago Wicked Beginning Jan. 24

By Andrew Gans
December 1, 2005

The sit-down production of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre will have two new stars beginning Jan. 24, 2006.



A spokesperson for the production confirmed to Playbill.com that Kristy Cates will be the green-faced Elphaba with Stacie Morgain Lewis as the curly-locked Glinda. Cates and Lewis replace, respectively, Ana Gasteyer and Kate Reinders, who will play their final performances on Jan. 22. Gasteyer, as previously reported, will next be seen as Mrs. Peachum in the Roundabout Theatre Company's upcoming production of The Threepenny Opera.

Kristy Cates made her Broadway debut in the ensemble of Wicked, where she was also the standby for the role of Elphaba. She is currently the standby for that role in the Chicago production of Wicked. Off-Broadway the singer-actress was seen in Boobs! The Musical, and her regional credits include john and jen and Into the Woods. A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Cates recently took part in an evening of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Unexpected Songs at Joe's Pub.

Stacie Morgain Lewis, a standby for Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked, has also been seen in the Broadway mountings of Urinetown and Titanic. She was part of the national tour of South Pacific, and her regional credits include My Fair Lady; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Sarah Plain and Tall; and Best Foot Forward. Lewis also was seen on screen in "Zoolander" and "Elephant Shoes."

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. Joe Mantello, who directed the Broadway company, repeated his duties for the Chicago production. The creative team also features Eugene Lee (set design), Susan Hilferty (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design), Tony Meola (sound design) and Stephen Oremus (musical director).

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.