Shelley will play a limited engagement as Morrible at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts' Oriental Theatre through June 25. Rondi Reed, who normally plays Shiz University's headmistress, will be performing in the Northlight Theatre's production of The Retreat From Moscow during that time. Reed will return to the Wicked company June 27.
Carole Shelley made her Broadway debut as Gwendolyn Pigeon in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple and has since played roles in Cabaret, Show Boat, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, The Miser, Noises Off, The Norman Conquests, Stepping Out, Absurd Person Singular and The Elephant Man. She earned Tony Award nominations for her work in Absurd Person Singular and Stepping Out and won the Tony for The Elephant Man.
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.