New Wicked Production Begins Performances in Chicago June 24

News   New Wicked Production Begins Performances in Chicago June 24
A new Wicked company — with Ana Gasteyer and Kate Reinders as, respectively, the green-faced and curly-locked witches — begins performances at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre June 24.

This open-ended, sit-down production of the hit Stephen Schwartz musical is now the third Wicked production, joining the Broadway company at the Gershwin Theatre and the national touring company, which is currently playing Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre. The new Chicago production will officially open July 13.

Joining Gasteyer's Elphaba and Reinders' Glinda are Rondi Reed as Madame Morrible, Gene Weygandt as The Wizard, Kristoffer Cusick as Fiyero, Heidi Kettenring as Nessa Rose, Telly Leung as Boq and Steven Skybell as Dillamond. The ensemble comprises Christina Bailey, Dioni M. Collins, Jason Davies, Courtney Corey, Delandis, Jeff Dumas, Peter Ermides, Sarah Jane Everman, Kristina Fernandez, Adam Fleming, Sara Ford, Jay Gamlin, Jacqui Graziano, Colleen Hieber, Mahi Kekumu, Barrett Martin, Vanessa McMahan, Don Richard, Rozlyn Roberson, Ashley Ronbinson, Kathy Santen, Ryan Silverman and Ryan Weiss.

Best known for her work on "Saturday Night Live," Gasteyer has appeared on Broadway in The Rocky Horror Show and Off-Broadway in The Vagina Monologues and Kimberly Akimbo. She also played Fanny Brice in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's production of Funny Girl and was recently seen in the New York City Opera mounting of Cinderella. Her screen credits include "Mean Girls," "What Women Want," "Woman on Top," "Dick" and "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" She can be heard on the new benefit concert recording of Hair (Ghostlight Records).

Kate Reinders was on Broadway this past season in the Beach Boys musical Good Vibrations. She has also been seen on Broadway in Gypsy, Into the Woods and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Reinders' other theatrical credits include The Sound of Music, A Year with Frog and Toad and Nerds.

Rondi Reed, a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1979, has been seen on Broadway in The Grapes of Wrath and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. She received a Joseph Jefferson Award for her work in The Fall to Earth, and her other theatrical credits include Man From Nebraska, Side Man and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Her film and television credits include "Normal," "Jungle 2 Jungle," "Eye for an Eye," "The Astronaut's Wife," "Fearless," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Nothing Sacred" and "Seinfeld." Gene Weygandt created the role of Paul in Broadway's Big. A three time Joseph Jefferson Award winner, his other theatrical credits include Inspecting Carol, Lend Me a Tenor, Little Shop of Horrors, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Arthur: The Musical, Me and My Girl and Phantom of the Country Place. His screen credits include "Murphy Brown," "Home Improvement," "Cybill," "Drew Carey," "Ellen," "Coach" and "Thunder Alley."

Kristoffer Cusick's Broadway credits include Wicked and Saturday Night Fever. He also starred as Angel in the first national tour of Rent.

A Chicago-based actress, Heidi Kettenring has appeared in productions of Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, Sunset Boulevard and The Pajama Game. She also appeared in the national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Telly Leung made his Broadway debut in the revival of Flower Drum Song and recently appeared in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures. His other theatrical credits include Zanna, Don't!; Thoroughly Modern Millie; The King and I; Jesus Christ Superstar; and Children of Eden.

Steven Skybell has been seen on Broadway in The Full Monty; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Cafe Crown; and Ah, Wilderness. He received an Obie Award for his work in Antigone in NY, and his other Off-Broadway credits include The Exact Center of the Universe, The Food Chain and Richard II.

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, repeats 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

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