Wicked Flies into the Windy City April 29

News   Wicked Flies into the Windy City April 29
The tour of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — starring Stephanie J. Block and Kendra Kassebaum as the celebrated pair of witches — begins its run at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts April 29.
Stephanie J. Block in Wicked
Stephanie J. Block in Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus

The tour of the hit musical launched in March at Toronto's Canon Theatre. That engagement, which ended April 24, was so successful that producers Marc Platt and David Stone recently announced the musical will return to the Canon Oct. 7, 2006 and play through Nov. 19.

The producers have similarly high hopes for the Chicago run. In fact, it has already been announced that once the touring cast of Wicked ends its Chicago run (June 12), an open-ended production of the musical will begin performances at the same theatre June 24. That company will feature Ana Gasteyer as the green-faced Elphaba with Chicago's own Rondi Reed and Gene Weygandt as, respectively, Madame Morrible and The Wizard.

The touring company, however, stars Block, who was part of the out-of-town San Francisco tryout of Wicked, as Elphaba with Kassebaum as the golden-locked Glinda. 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.

As of press time, the complete list of Wicked tour dates follows:
Ford Center for the Performing Arts in Chicago (April 29-June 12)
Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (June 17-July 31)
The Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco (Aug. 5-Sept. 11)
Buell Theatre in Denver (Sept. 16–Oct 2)
Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas (Oct. 6 - 23)
Mortensen Hall in Hartford (Dec. 7-18)
Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Opens Dec. 21)
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa Bay (Jan. 18-Feb. 5)
Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale (Feb. 8–19, 2006)
Aronoff Center in Cincinnati (March 7–19)
Academy of Music in Philadelphia (March 22-April 9)
The Fox Theatre in Atlanta (May 17–28)
Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis (July 12-23)
San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego (July 26–August 6)
Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa (Aug. 9-20)
ASU's Gammage Auditorium in Tempe (Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
Canon Theatre in Toronto (Oct. 7-Nov. 19) 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 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.

From Left: Stephanie J. Block and Kendra Kassebaum in <i>Wicked</i>
From Left: Stephanie J. Block and Kendra Kassebaum in Wicked Photo by Joan Marcus
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