Wicked Tour — with Kristy Cates as Elphaba — Begins March 9

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09 Mar 2005

Kristy Cates
Kristy Cates

The eagerly awaited tour of Wicked, which had been scheduled to begin March 8 at Toronto's Canon Theatre, plays its first performance March 9 with Kristy Cates as Elphaba.

Cates is a temporary replacement for Stephanie J. Block, who suffered a minor injury during a dress rehearsal for the tour's bow in Toronto. Block, according to a production spokesperson, is expected to return to the production shortly.

Cates, one of the members of the ensemble of the Broadway production of Wicked, will open the tour opposite the Glinda of Kendra Kassebaum. The limited engagement of the musical — based on Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name — will play the Ontario theatre through April 24. The company also includes David Garrison (the Wizard), Carol Kane (Madame Morrible), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), Logan Lipton (Boq) and Timothy Britten Parker (Dr. Dillamond).

The Wicked ensemble comprises Katie Adams, Timothy Anderson, Terra Lynn Arrington, Aaron Albano, Peter John Chursin, Matt Clemons, Nicholas Drommard, Laura Dysarczyk, Maria Eberline, Brooke Elliott, Lori Holmes, Adam Lambert, KW Miller, Kristen Oei, Chris Peluso, Don Richard, Emily Rozek, Chris Russo, Brian Slaman, James Tabeek, Barbara Tirrell, Brooke Wendle and Nicole Winhoffer.

Kristy Cates is making her Broadway debut in the ensemble of Wicked, where she also understudies the role of Elphaba. 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.



Following its run at the Canon, Wicked will head to Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts, playing April 29-June 12. Wicked will then make a stop at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre, June 17-July 31, and is also scheduled to play San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre Aug. 4-Sept. 11. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Buell Theatre will offer Wicked Sept. 15-Oct. 2, and a Dallas engagement at Music Hall at Fair Park is set for Oct. 5-23. The hit musical will then play engagements at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL (Feb. 8-19, 2006) and at the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia, PA (beginning March 22, 2006).

Based on 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 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 repeats his duties for the tour — continues to play the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets for Wicked's national tour are available by calling Ticketmaster at (312) 902-1400.

For more information about Wicked visit www.wickedthemusical.com.

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The first performance of the eagerly awaited tour of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — scheduled for March 8 at the Canon Theatre in Toronto — was canceled. Stephanie J. Block, who portrays the not-so-Wicked Witch of the West, was unable to perform due to an injury sustained during the show's rehearsal period. A press statement released March 8 read, "[Block] has suffered a minor injury during rehearsal. She is experiencing muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing. As a result, tonight's preview performance has been canceled and has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 13 at 7:30 PM. . . All tickets for this evening's performance will be honored for this new Sunday evening performance."