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Murney, Cuervo, Benjamin, Freeman, Arcelus and Waldman Join Wicked Tour in March

New casting is announced for the national touring production of WICKED, a new musical 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") based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire. Beginning March 8 (when performances begin at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati), Julia Murney will assume the role of Elphaba, Alma Cuervo will become Madame Morrible, P.J. Benjamin will step into the role of the Wizard, and Jennifer Waldman will be Nessarose. Beginning March 28 (when the show will be playing at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia), K. Todd Freeman assumes the role of Dr. Dillamond.

Kendra Kassebaum, who created the role of Glinda in the national touring production, continues in the role when the new cast members join the company. Sebastian Arcelus recently joined the cast as Fiyero, and Logan Lipton will continue to play Boq.

WICKED, the untold story of the witches of Oz, is directed by 2003 and 2004 Tony® Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Assassins, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues, Glengarry Glen Ross) and features musical staging by Tony® Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who's Tommy, How To Succeed…).

The national tour of WICKED opened at Toronto's Canon Theatre on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 and sold out a seven-week run. WICKED has continued to break box office records and sell out multiple-week engagements in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC and all throughout North America.

BIOS FOR NEW CAST MEMBERS:

Julia Murney (Elphaba) received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party and was also seen in New York in A Class Act (both original cast albums available on RCA Victor), Lennon and Time and Again. She also starred in benefit concert performances of Hair, Chess, Funny Girl and Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden. A Syracuse University graduate, other credits include Cloud 9 (Perry Street), Mata Hari (York), Into the Woods (Pioneer) and Snapshots (Virginia State). She has appeared on TV in "Law & Order" and "Another World," and her voice has been heard in countless commercials.

Alma Cuervo's (Madame Morrible) many Broadway credits include Beauty and the Beast (as Mrs. Potts); Cabaret; Titanic (as the original Ida Straus); The Heidi Chronicles; Quilters; and Bedroom Farce. She received an OBIE for Uncommon Women and Others and a Barrymore Award for Beauty Queen of Leenane. Off-Broadway credits include: Christina Alberta's Father; Isn't It Romantic. Her recent regional credits include Midwives (Round House); Beyond Therapy (Old Globe). TV: Norman Lear's "aka Pablo" (series regular); "Law & Order;" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

P.J. Benjamin (The Wizard) has been working in show business for well over thirty years. Broadway credits include leading roles in Chicago (Amos Hart), Torch Song Trilogy, Bob Fosse's Pippin, Charlie and Algernon, Sarava and Wind in the Willows and appearances in Ain't Broadway Grand and the revival of The Pajama Game directed by George Abbott. Recently, Mr. Benjamin was featured in episodes of "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU." He is also the voice of Sergeant Dodo Bird in the animated feature Ice Age. Together with his wife, Louisa Flaningam, he is currently working on creating a television series titled "Living Treasures."

Jennifer Waldman (Nessarose) has appeared on Broadway in Wicked and Titanic (and also appeared in that show's national tour). Her Off-Broadway credits include Heat Lightning, and her regional credits include West End Horror (Bay Street), Fiddler on the Roof (North Shore), Jekyll & Hyde (TUTS) and Saturday Night (Weston Playhouse). Jennifer is also a director and choreographer.

Sebastian Arcelus (Fiyero) recently appeared on Broadway as Jan in Good Vibrations and as Roger Davis in Rent. Other credits include The Full Monty, Hamlet - A Rock Opera, Caligula, Aida, Floyd Collins, and the world premiere of William Finn's Songs of Innocence and Experience. His film and TV credits include Temptation and the voice of Papi on Nickelodeon's "Go, Diego, Go!" He is a proud graduate of Williams College.

K. Todd Freeman (Dr. Dillamond) has appeared on Broadway in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Song of Jacob Zulu (Tony nomination for Best Actor). Off-Broadway, he has appeared in Uncle Tom's Cabin (Drama Dept.), Spunk (the Public), Freefall and Ubu. He has been a Steppenwolf company member since 1993 and has appeared there in A Clockwork Orange and Libra. His regional credits include Angels in America (Mark Taper). Television: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "NYPD Blue." Film: A Gentleman's Game, Cider House Rules, Grosse Point Blank and End of Violence.

Currently starring in the national tour are Stephanie J. Block (Elphaba), Kendra Kassebaum (Glinda), Carole Shelley (Madame Morrible), David Garrison (The Wizard), Sebastian Arcelus (Fiyero), Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), Logan Lipton (Boq) and Timothy Britten Parker (Dr. Dillamond).

WICKED, "Broadway's biggest blockbuster" (The New York Times), began performances on Broadway on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 at The Gershwin Theatre and continues to be the top-grossing show on Broadway. WICKED is "good enough to run for a decade or two," proclaims The Wall Street Journal. It's "a cultural phenomenon," exclaims Variety. "If every musical had the brain, the heart and the courage of WICKED, Broadway really would be a magical place," states Time Magazine.

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.

WICKED features set design by Tony® Award winning 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 (Hairspray) and sound design by Tony Meola (The Lion King and the recent Man of La Mancha). Stephen Oremus is the show's music director. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn, with dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.

WICKED is the winner of 15 major awards, including a Grammy® Award and 3 Tony® Awards. The Grammy Award-Winning Cast recording is available on Decca Broadway.

For more information about WICKED log on to www.wickedthemusical.com.

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