Quadruple Play: Wicked Welcomes Espinosa, Kane, Williams and Candler Jan. 10

News   Quadruple Play: Wicked Welcomes Espinosa, Kane, Williams and Candler Jan. 10
The Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre welcomes four new leading players Jan. 10 with the arrival of Eden Espinosa, Carol Kane, Derrick Williams and Cristy Candler.
Eden Espinosa in Wicked.
Eden Espinosa in Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus

Espinosa, who made her Broadway debut as the standby for the green-faced Elphaba, becomes the third actress to play the role in the hit Stephen Schwartz musical on Broadway. Espinosa succeeds Shoshana Bean, who had replaced original star, Tony winner Idina Menzel.

Kane succeeds "Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan as Madame Morrible, the role created on Broadway by Carole Shelley. Kane has been playing the role of the Shiz's headmistress in the musical’s national tour.

Derrick Williams, who becomes the new Fiyero, had understudied the role on Broadway and was the first to play the part in Wicked's national tour. He succeeds David Ayers.

Cristy Candler, an original Wicked cast member, replaces Michelle Federer as Nessarose.

Wicked also stars Megan Hilty (Glinda), Ben Vereen (the Wizard), Sean McCourt (Dr. Dillamond) and Robb Sapp (Boq). 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.

Eden Espinosa made her Broadway debut covering the roles of Elphaba and Nessarose in Stephen Schwartz's Wicked. She played the role of Brooklyn — a part she created at the Denver Civic Theatre — in the musical of the same name at the Schoenfeld Theatre, and she recently made her solo concert debut at New York's Town Hall. The actress began singing at the age of three, performing at the age of five and recording at the age of ten.

Carol Kane's many stage credits include Sly Fox, Control Freak, Signature, The Lucky Spot, Family Week, The Tempest, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Woman of Mystery, Frankie and Johnny and He Hunts. Kane received an Academy Award nomination for her work in "Hester Street," and her numerous screen credits also include "Carnal Knowledge," "The Last Detail," "Annie Hall," "Dog Day Afternoon," "The World's Greatest Lover," "When a Stranger Calls," "The Princess Bride," "Scrooged," "The Lemon Sisters," "The Pallbearer," "Office Killer," "Trees Lounge," "Addams Family Values," "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "The Pacifier and Cosmopolitan."

Derrick Williams was part of the original Broadway cast of Wicked and played Fiyero in the show's national tour. His other Broadway credits include Aida, Swing! and Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Cristy Candler created the role of the Witch’s Mother in Wicked. Candler has also been seen on Broadway in Aida and Off-Broadway in Girlstown and Rubberville.

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 — continues to play the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

The Gershwin Theatre is located at 222 West 51st Street, between Eighth Avenue and Broadway.

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