Wicked to Bow in London in September 2006

News   Wicked to Bow in London in September 2006
London will mark the first international production of Wicked, the hit Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical that continues to play to capacity crowds on Broadway, in Chicago and around the country.

Kristin Chenoweth in the original Broadway production of Wicked.
Kristin Chenoweth in the original Broadway production of Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus

London's Daily Mail reports that the musical, which concerns the friendship of two unlikely witches, will begin performances at the Apollo Victoria Theatre Sept. 27, 2006. The London paper also says that the show will be adapted for West End audiences and the original creative team — including Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello and set designer Eugene Lee — will be part of the London production.

No casting has been announced for the London run, although producer Marc Platt will travel to Britain in the New Year in the hope of finding British talent to match that of original Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.

The Apollo Victoria Theatre will also house the upcoming limited engagement of Billy Joel's Movin' Out. The venue's current tenant, Saturday Night Fever, ends its run there Feb. 16, 2006.

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 began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. The Broadway company — directed by Mantello — continues to play the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

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