Wicked is back by popular demand at the Durham Performing Arts Center for a four-week return engagement that runs May 2-6, 8-13, 15-20, and 22-27 in DPAC‘s 2,700-seat, state-of-the-art theater in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. (Wicked first wowed Triangle theatergoers during its sold-out April 21-May 16, 2010 run at DPAC.)
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked retells the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — the 1900 children‘s book, written by L. Frank Baum, and the 1939 motion picture, directed by Victor Fleming — from the viewpoint of the Wicked Witch of the West (renamed “Elphaba“ by Maguire and played in the second national tour by Christine Dwyer). (For a sampler of Wicked’s splendid songs, such as “Defying Gravity” and “For Good,” just click http://www.wickedthemusical.com/page.php#MusicPlayer.)
Wicked made its Broadway debut, directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento, on Oct. 30, 2003 at the George Gershwin Theatre, where it is still playing, with 3,524 performances to date (as of April 29, 2012). The original Broadway production starred Kristin Chenoweth as the beautiful blonde Glinda, who will become Glinda the Good; Idina Menzel as Glinda‘s green-skinned, raven-haired college roommate Elphaba, who will become the Wicked Witch of the West; Carole Shelley as Shiz University headmistress Madame Morrible; Joel Grey as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Michelle Federer as Elphaba‘s physically challenged younger sister Nessarose; Christopher Fitzgerald as the Glinda-loving Munchkin Boq; William Youmans as talking goat and Shiz University professor Doctor Dillamond; and Norbert Leo Butzas the handsome Winkie prince Fiyero, whose attentions both Elphaba and Glinda covet.
Wicked earned ten 2004 Tony Award® nominations — including nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score – and won three Tony Awards — for Best Actress in a Musical (Idina Menzel as Elphaba), Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee), and Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty), plus the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Musical.
There is motion-picture version of this magnificent musical fantasy, with screenplay by Broadway book writer Winnie Holzman, scheduled for release in 2014.
In addition to Christine Dwyer as Elphaba, the cast for the second national tour of Wicked – launched in March 2009 — includes Tiffany Haas as Glinda, Marilyn Caskey as Madame Morrible, Paul Kreppel as The Wizard, Catherine Charlebois as Nessarose, Dan Pacheco as Boq, Timothy Britten Parker as Dr. Dillamond, Billy Harrigan Tighe as Fiyero. Stephanie Torns is a standby for Elphaba.
Christine Dwyer as Elphaba
Tiffany Haas as Glinda
Marilyn Caskey as Madame Morrible
According to the Durham Performing Arts Center:
“After breaking box-office records and selling out in record time in 2010, Wicked, Broadway‘s biggest blockbuster, will return to Durham May 2-27.
“With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award®-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (‘My So Called Life,‘ ‘Once and Again‘ and ‘thirtysomething‘), Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, is directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues) and features musical staging by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed in Busness Without Really Trying).
“Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked, winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz. It is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, and David Stone….
“Tickets are still available, and best seat selection remains for weekdays.
“‘I‘m ecstatic that we have secured a return of Wicked for DPAC,‘ said Durham Performing Arts Center general manager Bob Klaus. “It was a thrill to have so much excitement at DPAC during its first sold out four weeks in 2010 and the return is sure to only bring even more. Wicked is a live entertainment experience like no other!‘
“Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One — born with emerald-green skin — is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West [Christine Dwyer] and Glinda the Good [Tiffany Haas].
“Wicked has ‘cast quite a spell‘ (Washington Post) throughout North America, breaking box-office records in every city that it has played, including Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Boston — to name a few.
“Called ‘a cultural phenomenon‘ by Variety, Wicked continues to thrill audiences around the world. There are currently seven productions of Wicked worldwide: New York, London, Japan, Holland, Australian/Asian Tour, and two concurrent North American National Tours.
“Wicked features set design by Tony Award winner Eugene Lee (Ragtime, Show Boat, Candide, Sweeney Todd), costume design by Tony winner Susan Hilferty (Into the Woods, Assassins), lighting design by Tony nominee Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Hairspray), and sound design by Tony Meola (The Lion King). Stephen Oremus is the show‘s musical director. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn, with dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.
“The Grammy Award-winning cast recording is available on Decca Broadway. For more information about Wicked, log on to http://www.wickedthemusical.com/.“
In addition to the performers named above, the company for the second national tour of Wicked also includes (in alphabetical order): Kerry Blanchard, Michael Drolet, dance captain Jeremy Duvall, Anna Eilinsfeld, Peter C. Ermides, Ryan Patrick Farrell, Samantha Farrow, Natalie Fotopoulos, Linda Griffin, Lauren Haughton, Zach Hensler, K.J. Hippensteel, Ryan Jackson, Jillian Kates, Becca Kloha, Sterling Masters, Marissa Miller, Robert Pendilla, Casey Quinn, Michael McCorry Rose, Wayne Schroder, Ben Susak, Erin Wilson, and Justin Wirick.
SECOND OPINION: April 27th Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/18387336/article-Magic-of-‘Wicked’-back-at-DPAC (Note: You must register to view this page).
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents WICKED at 7:30 p.m. May 2 and 3, 8 p.m. May 4, 2 and 8 p.m. May 5, 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 6, 7:30 p.m. May 8-10, 8 p.m. May 11, 2 and 8 p.m. May 12, 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 13, 7:30 p.m. May 15-17, 8 p.m. May 18, 2 and 8 p.m. May 19, 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 20, 7:30 p.m. May 22-24, 8 p.m. May 25, 2 and 8 p.m. May 26, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 27 at DPAC, in the American Tobacco District, 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.
TICKETS: $40.50-$142.50 (including fees).
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), email@example.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/864373.
GROUP RATES (20+ tickets): 919-281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services/broadway_group_pricing, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services/online-groups.
VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0joZAGUHatA.
NOTE: Two-and-a-half hours before each performance, the Durham Performing Arts Center Ticket Center will accept entries for a lottery for a limited number of orchestra seats. The winning tickets will be drawn 30 minutes later, and lottery winners will be able to buy up to two tickets for just $25 each (cash only). For details of the Wicked ticket lottery, click http://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/wicked-announces-lottery-for-25-seats.
The Book: http://gregorymaguire.com/books/wicked.html (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked:_The_Life_and_Times_of_the_Wicked_Witch_of_the_West (Wikipedia).
Gregory Maguire: http://gregorymaguire.com/ (official website).
The Musical: http://www.wickedthemusical.com/ (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_musical (Wikipedia), http://www.musicalschwartz.com/wicked.htm (MusicalSchwartz.com), and http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=11169 (Internet Broadway Database).
The Tour: http://www.wickedthemusical.com/page.php#WickedCitiesOnTour2Company (official web page) and http://broadwayiswicked.com/tag/second-national-tour/ (fan site).
Stephen Schwartz: http://www.musicalschwartz.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Schwartz_(composer) (Wikipedia).
Winnie Holzman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnie_Holzman (Wikipedia).
The Film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1262426/ (Internet Movie Database).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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