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John Rubinstein to Play The Wizard in LA Wicked

Veteran stage, screen and television star John Rubinstein is announced to play The Wizard in the new Los Angeles production of WICKED, which begins performances on February 10, 2007, at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Rubinstein joins stars Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty, who play Elphaba and Glinda, and Carol Kane, who plays Madame Morrible. Kane appeared in the role during the sold out engagement of WICKED at the Pantages Theatre last summer, and then went on to play the part on Broadway.

Rubinstein is one of the Broadway theatre's best-known actors who makes his home in Los Angeles. 35 years ago, Rubinstein made his Broadway debut as the title character of Pippin, the musical that established both Rubinstein and Stephen Schwartz, the composer-lyricist of WICKED, as major Broadway talents (Pippin was Schwartz' second major success, following Godspell, one of the all-time great off-Broadway hits).

Rubinstein also appeared on Broadway in Children of a Lesser God (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Fools, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (Drama Desk nomination), Hurlyburly, M. Butterfly, Getting Away with Murder, and Ragtime. In Los Angeles appeared in the American premiere of Ragtime (L.A. Drama Critics Circle nomination, Drama-Logue Award) at the Shubert Theatre. He originated the role of Andrew Ladd in A.R. Gurney's Love Letters, which he played both on and off Broadway. In London's West End he starred opposite Donald Sutherland in Enigmatic Variations.

Rubinstein has also become an important theatre director. His credits include the world premiere of A.R. Gurney's The Old Boy at Playwrights Horizons in New York, and the off-Broadway premieres of Sybille Pearson's Phantasie and Elizabeth Diggs's Nightingale at the Vineyard Theater.

At Los Angeles's Interact Theatre Company, he co-directed and acted in three hit revivals: Elmer Rice's Counsellor-At-Law (a role he repeated off-Broadway), winning Drama-Logue Awards and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards for both acting and directing, and Ovation Awards for ensemble acting and sound design; Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music. For Interact, he also directed Richard Sheridan's classic The Rivals, and Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling's Guys and Dolls.

He has more than 150 film and television credits as well. His feature films include 21 Grams, Red Dragon, Mercy, Someone to Watch Over Me, Daniel, The Boys from Brazil, Rome and Jewel, Zachariah, Getting Straight, Kid Cop, and The Car. On television, he has starred in two series, "Crazy Like a Fox" and "Family" (Emmy Award nomination). Recently, he has been a recurring character on ABC's "Daybreak."

Rubinstein composed, orchestrated, and conducted the musical scores to five movies, among them Jeremiah Johnson and The Candidate, and to over 50 television films and series. He directed the CBS TV film "A Matter of Conscience," which won two 1990 Emmy Awards, including Best Children's Special; the ABC Afterschool miniseries "Summer Stories;" an episode of the CBS series "Nash Bridges," and three episodes of the TV series "High Tide." For six years he hosted the radio program "Carnegie Hall Tonight."

Eden Espinosa (Elphaba) made her Broadway debut as a member of the original cast of WICKED, where she was the standby for Elphaba and Nessarose, and later played Elphaba to great acclaim in the San Francisco engagement of the show's national tour, before assuming the role on Broadway. Espinosa also starred as the title character on Broadway in Brooklyn the Musical, a role she created in the workshop, played through the first production at the Denver Civic Theatre, and on Broadway. Espinosa is from Southern California. She can be heard on recordings of the Actors' Fund Benefit of Hair, John McDaniel Live at Joe's Pub, and The Maury Yeston Songbook.

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