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Ever wonder what the real Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, was like?
Back before Dorothy's
house turned her sister into Yellow Brick Road-kill, and Dorothy gave her a
shower, Elphaba was a student just trying to do what was right.
Louise Dearman, who played ‘Glinda’ to huge acclaim from March 2010 to
December 2011, returned to star as ‘Elphaba’ in October 2012. It
is the first time that a leading lady has starred in both roles in the
nearly decade-long history of the global musical phenomenon.
From Monday 29th October 2012 onwards, the complete cast is: Louise Dearman (Elphaba),
Gina Beck (Glinda), Ben Freeman (Fiyero), Harriet Thorpe (Madame Morrible),
Keith Bartlett (The Wizard), Christopher Howell (Doctor Dillamond), Sam Lupton (Boq),
Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Hayley Gallivan (Standby Elphaba), Lucy van
Gasse (Standby Glinda), Florence Andrews, Gemma Atkins, William Bozier, Oliver
Brenin, Lauren Brooke, Philip Catchpole, Aisling Duffy, Chlöe Hart, Jacqueline
Hughes, Robert Jones, Sophie Linder Lee, Tania Mathurin, Marc McBride, Stacey
McGuire, Tom Muggeridge, Sean Parkins, Michelle Pentecost, Stuart Ramsay,
Lindsay Taylor, Paulo Teixeira, Justin Thomas, Hannah Toy, Matt Turner, Oliver
Watton and Jason Winter.
This is the story of her college years,
a campaign for animal rights and the lonely struggle with the fact it is no fun being
and in love.
Wizard or not.
Stephen Schwartz provides the music and lyrics based on a novel by Gregory
Maguire. Winnie Holtzman provides the musical book, Eugene Lee the scenery,
Susan Hilferty costumes, with Joe Mantello directing and Wayne Cilento credited
for musical staging. The monkey's Great Uncle Ex-Squadron-Leader Wilberforce would also like
credit for training the flying monkeys, apparently... even though he didn't.
Photographic credits for above: (from the current / Past London
casts of this production)
(1) Elphaba 2011 London Cast. (2) Dianne Pilkington and Oliver Tompsett. Photo by Tristram Kenton. (3) Glinda 2011 London Cast. (4) Idina Menzel and Company. Photo by Tristram Kenton. (5) Fiyero 2011 London Cast. (6) Nigel Planer and Idina Menzel. Photo by Tristram Kenton.
All photographs are copyright of the production and photographer as
Please note that these photographs are used by permission. They MUST NOT be
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PLEASE NOTE: For copyright reasons, information and
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Hear the show: a dedicated SoundCloud channel has been created to showcase
snippets of the incredible music by multi GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winner
Stephen Schwartz. You can take a look at the channel here:
for a taste of some of the show-stopping tunes from the musical?
Also worth knowing is that WICKED, the global musical phenomenon that tells
the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, will begin a major tour of the
UK and Ireland at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on 12th September 2013.
Further tour dates include its Irish premiere at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in
Dublin in November 2013. The strictly limited 8-week season will run from Wednesday 27 November
2013 until Saturday 18 January 2014. Booking is now open for both.
Further Tour Dates include: Milton Keynes Theatre (4 February to 8 March 2014) – In April, the Milton
Keynes Theatre announced that in its first week of tickets going on sale, the
smash hit musical Wicked broke Box Office records with the highest grossing
ticket sales in the theatre’s history.
Wales Millennium Centre (12 March to 26 April 2014) .
Glasgow King’s Theatre (6 May to 31 May 2014).
Leeds Grand Theatre (10 June to 5 July 2014).
Birmingham Hippodrome (9 July to 6 September 2014) – Public Booking opens 10
Executive Producer Michael McCabe said: "With Wicked continuing its phenomenally
successful London run, we are very proud to also now be announcing this major
tour of the UK and Ireland. We are absolutely delighted that the premiere will
take place in the amazing city of Manchester which has such a prestigious
history of hosting the regional premieres of so many world class musicals."
The London production continues its record-breaking run at the Apollo Victoria
Theatre. On Saturday 30th March 2013 the show proudly welcomed its 5 millionth
theatregoer. Stewart Lyons, together with his partner Cristina Kane, from
Kirkcaldy in Fife, attended the sold out matinee performance and were invited
backstage to meet the cast after the show. Asked how it felt to be the 5
millionth theatregoer, Mr Lyons said “It feels fantastic. We loved the show and
even though it is our first visit to Wicked, it won’t be our last.”
WICKED is pleased to reveal a brand new video from the open auditions for the
West End 2013/14 Company and UK & Ireland Tour Company that were held during
April 2013 at Pineapple Studios, London:
This review refers to the original cast. Casting has now changed. "Lyrics and music and book, oh my!" Proof, if proof were needed, that the
old-fashioned Broadway musical isn't dead. The story is basically the
traditional "green girl wants boy, boy wants yellow girl" ending with green girl
turning boy yellow, and yellow and green girl settling their differences - with
some animal rights stuff and zingy one liners thrown in. The satisfaction is in
the neat dovetailing with the classic film - find out how the well loved
characters became what they are; the downside is overlong sequences that look
great but add twenty minutes of ballast to the proceedings.
This is very much a show of two halves. The first has Winnie "My So Called
Life" Holzman channel female adolescence with acuity once again. If business
starts to slip, producers should re-paint the theatre walls powder pink,
replace seats with furry-toy strewn beds and provide free popcorn, cosmetics and
a pizza delivery service. Very much attuned to the sleepover crowd, the fun
"Popular" and 'I wish' numbers "The Wizard and I" and "I'm
Not That Girl" are
arrows to teenage hearts. Once the director realises "Popular" works way better
with an American air-head accent than it does with a British spoof-Sloane one,
it'll be the perfect "DVD night in" substitute. That isn't to say Helen Dallimore
should be upset by frank analysis, but the director should consider the show in
need of personality dialysis and restore it to the original (United States)
state at the next cast change. Oh, and that line is probably the "wittiest" in the
show - you can almost hear Sondheim scream as it is sung.
Act two grows progressively darker, and the resolutions come late into it.
Tighter than act one, and noticeably more adult, it eschews the clumsy shifts of
place for a smoother cinematic feel but feels rushed to ensure the show comes in
at the sub-three hour mark. The searing "As Long as You're Mine" and insightful
"For Good" deserved time that "Wizomania" pointlessly occupies and could have
turned a good show into an unforgettable one. Time to contemplate motives, cause
and effect are limited, and the monkey would have appreciated more of it spaced
through the production.
Expensively staged, occasionally buckling under its own spectacular mass,
set (Elphaba could perhaps have flown properly had there been space) and a
desire to give the audience every penny of the production costs in spectacle
over substance, this is the golden era of musicals brought into the 21st
century. Those old musicals had their faults, as does this, but ultimately a
show succeeds on how deep its songs and images engrave themselves in the memory.
Probably too crass for the current "post war" musical lover (though Schwartz
produces some of his best work here), Wicked will still worm its way into the
affections of many - younger people especially - perhaps ultimately ending up as
a "standard" in fifty years time. As the dragon signifies, it is time that
tells, and this show is mostly worthy of the audiences' hours.