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Wicks and Kassebaum Head WICKED SF Return, Opens at Orpheum 1/27

Wicks and Kassebaum Head WICKED SF Return, Opens at Orpheum 1/27Casting has been announced for the much anticipated San Francisco return of the smash hit musical WICKED, which begins Tuesday, January 27, 2009 for an open-ended engagement at the Orpheum Theatre. This production is a significant homecoming for WICKED, which premiered in San Francisco before casting its spell on Broadway, winning 20 major awards, including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. Tickets on sale now.

Teal Wicks will play the role of Elphaba. Born and raised in Sacramento, the California native made her WICKED debut earlier this year playing the role of Elphaba in the Los Angeles production. Teal has also been seen in the National Tour of Pippin (Catherine), NY City Center Encores! Stairway to Paradise (dir. Jerry Zaks), NY premiere of Fahrenheit 451 (Clarisse), World Premiere of Turandot, Rumble for the Ring (Turandot) at Bay Street Theatre, 1776 (Martha) and Pippin (Catherine) both at the Goodspeed Opera House.

Kendra Kassebaum, who will play Glinda, comes directly from playing the role in the Broadway production. Kendra received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for her portrayal of Glinda in the North American Tour of WICKED. Most recently, Kendra starred off-Broadway in The Receptionist at Manhattan Theatre Club. She created the role of Sam in the workshop production of Leap of Faith directed by Taylor Hackford. On Broadway, she was seen in the Tony Award-winning production of Assassins directed by Joe Mantello and Rent. Tours include A Chorus Line and Grease. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, Ordway, Florida Stage and the St. Louis MUNY. Recordings include the Grammy-nominated cast album of Assassins.

The other lead roles in WICKED will be performed by Carol Kane and David Garrison. Carol Kane, who will playing the role of Madame Morrible, is a two-time Emmy Award-winner for TV's "Taxi." Her feature films include The Princess Bride, Annie Hall, Dog Day Afternoon and Hester Street, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. David Garrison playing The Wizard is best known for TV's "Married With Children," Broadway's Titanic and A Day in Hollywood/A Night in The Ukraine, for which he received a Tony Award nomination.

San Francisco audiences and critics alike feel a special connection with WICKED, which had its world premiere at San Francisco's Curran Theatre on May 28, 2003. This engagement followed a long development process during which the entire creative team and cast immersed themselves in the musical's launch at the Curran Theatre. From these roots in the city by the bay, WICKED has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon that has since redefined theatrical popular culture.

Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed September 26, 2008 "WICKED Day in San Francisco," welcoming the international phenomenon back to the city where it had its world premiere.

Having just celebrated its 5th Anniversary on Broadway, WICKED's four North American and four international companies have cumulatively grossed over $1.25 billion and have been seen by over 15 million people worldwide.

WICKED currently has four companies in North America: on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre, at Chicago's Ford Center for Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre, in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre and a National Tour.

There are currently four international productions of WICKED: a London production, which opened in September 2006 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre; a Japanese-language production, which opened on June 17, 2007 in Tokyo; a German-language production, which opened in Stuttgart on November 15, 2007 and an Australian production, which opened in Melbourne on July 12.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. WICKED is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. 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 winner Eugene Lee, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and sound design by Tony Meola. The orchestrations are by William David Brohn, with dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.

Tickets for WICKED are now on sale for performances through June 27th for this open-ended engagement and range in price from $30 to $99. Tickets can be purchased online at shnsf.com and ticketmaster.com/wicked, through Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone 415 512 7770, at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office (1192 Market at 8th St., Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm). Premium seating tickets are also available for all performances. Groups of 20 or more may order by calling Group Sales at (415) 551-2020.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus


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