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John Rubinstein to Play The Wizard in LA Wicked

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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.

Megan Hilty (Glinda) performed the role of Glinda in WICKED both on Broadway and in the national touring company. She is originally from Bellevue, Washington and is a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her other credits include the world premiere of the musical version of Jack Heifner's Vanities at New York Theatre Works, Café Puttanesca at New York's City Theatre, and Suds at the Oregon Cabaret Theater.

Carol Kane (Madame Morrible) Stage: WICKED (national tour); Larry Gelbart's Sly Fox; Control Freak, Signature, The Lucky Spot and Family Week by Beth Henley; Shakespeare's The Tempest, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream; John Cassavetes' A Women of Mystery; Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny; Feydeau's He Hunts. Television includes "Taxi" (two Emmys), "Pearl," "Seinfeld," "Brooklyn Bridge," "Chicago Hope" (Emmy nom.) and "Beggars & Choosers." Film includes Carnal Knowledge, The Last Detail, Annie Hall, Hester Street (Academy Award nom.), Dog Day Afternoon, The World's Greatest Lover, When a Stranger Calls, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, The Lemon Sisters, The Pallbearer, Office Killer, Trees Lounge, Addams Family Values, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, The Pacifier and Cosmopolitan.

Kristoffer Cusick plays Fiyero, a role he has played on Broadway and in Chicago. Jenna Leigh Green will appear as Nessarose; she also played this parts during last year's sold out Pantages Theatre WICKED engagement, and then went on to the Broadway production. Adam Wylie, who made his Broadway debut as Jack in the recent revival of Into the Woods, will play Boq. Wylie is also well known from playing Zach in the TV series "Picket Fences." Timothy Britten Parker plays Doctor Dillamond. He also appeared in the Pantages Theatre engagement, and in Chicago in this role, and was a member of the original cast of Rent.

Tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayLA.org, by phone at 213-365-3500 or 714-740-7878, in person at the Pantages Theatre Box Office, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Groups of fifteen (15) or more can call 866-755-3075 or online at www.nedgroups.com.

About WICKED

Called "Broadway's biggest blockbuster" by The New York Times and "a cultural phenomenon" by Variety, WICKED has been sold out at virtually every performance on Broadway, since having its official opening at the Gershwin Theatre on October 30, 2003. Last summer, WICKED, which was developed, written and had its earliest readings and workshops in Los Angeles, was completely sold out during its seven-week run at the Pantages Theatre. Earlier this year it was completely sold out during its two-week engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. Directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento, WICKED is currently being presented on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre, on a National Tour, and in a separate, open-ended engagement at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. The London production opened on September 27 and is currently playing to capacity crowds at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

The Grammy Award winning (Best Musical Show Album) original cast recording of WICKED has just been certified 'Platinum' by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for sales of more than 1 million copies. Produced by composer Stephen Schwartz for Decca Broadway, the album has been the fastest selling original cast recording in years, and has regularly appeared on the list of Amazon's top-selling albums. It is currently #1 on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart, the position it occupied when the chart debuted in January 2006.

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, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

Kristoffer Cusick (Fiyero) A L.A. native, Kristoffer has appeared in WICKED on Broadway and in Chicago. Broadway: original casts of WICKED (Fiyero u/s), Saturday Night Fever (Gus u/s). Touring: 1st National Rent (Angel, Mark u/s). Regional: AMT's A Chorus Line, Los Angeles Premier BARE. Film/TV: HBO Pretty Cool, Guiding Light, Comedy Central After Hours, Star Search and Big Break.

Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose) made her Broadway debut in WICKED, and originated the role of Nessarose and covered the role of Elphaba in the first National tour. Other NYC: bare (ATA) and workshops of bare and Mask. L.A. credits include Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, Romeo and Juliet, Into the Woods and West Side Story. TV/film: Libby Chessler on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "First Shot" (TBS), "A Friend to Die For" (NBC), "Dharma and Greg," "ER" and the recently released Open House.

Adam Wylie (Boq) made his Broadway debut as Jack in Into the Woods. Adam played Zach in the Emmy Award-winning "Picket Fences." Recent TV: "Entourage," "Veronica Mars," "Monk, ""Gilmore Girls," "NCIS," "Ben 10," "American Dragon," "Avatar," "Boondocks," and as Braniac 5 in Saturday Morning's "Legions of Super Heroes" on the CW. Upcoming films: Street Dreams and Species Quatro. Favorite theatre roles: Jimmy, 110 in the Shade (Pasadena Playhouse), Chip in Beauty and the Beast (L.A. Company), Freddie Jr., in Precious Sons, (Blank Theatre) Huck in Big River, (Cape Fear), and in the Sondheim 75th Birthday Celebration (Hollywood Bowl).

Timothy Britten Parker (Doctor Dillamond) Broadway credits: original company of Rent (Obie Award); The Visit; Runaways; The Innocents; and Wicked. Off-Broadway: Kenneth Lonergan's A Suffering Colonel and The Heartsick Pioneer (DramaLogue Award); Machinal; Endgame and over 40 other productions. Television: recurring character of Dr. Hoeck on "Law and Order," "New York Undercover," "Ghost Writer". Film: Quiz Show, Gold Coast. Founding member of Naked Angels Theater Company. Can be seen singing at clubs in New York with his trio.

Grammy Award-winning original cast recording available on Decca Broadway. For more information, visit www.wickedthemusical.com

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