Murin and Donnell to Star in HOLIDAY INN

Patti Murin

Patti Murin

Patti Murin (former Glinda – 1st Natl. Tour) and Colin Donnell (former Fiyero – 2nd Natl Tour) have been cast in Irving Berlin’s HOLIDAY INN at the Muny as Linda Mason and Jim Hardy, respectively. Murin reprises the role that she played at Goodspeed Theater last year.  It is directed by Gordon Greenberg and choreographed by Denis Jones with musical direction by James Moore. HOLIDAY INN, based on the 1942 movie of the same name, tells the story of a Connecticut farmhouse transformed into a jubilant nightspot and hotel that is only open on holidays.

HOLIDAY INN is part of the Muny’s exciting 97th summer season and plays July 6 – July 12. For more information, call call (314) 361-1900 or visit muny.org.

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Outer Critics Circle Nominees Include WICKED Alums

 

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth

The New York theatre awards season got underway today with the announcement of nominees for the 2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Awards. Several WICKED alumni are among the nominees. Kristin Chenoweth (original Glinda – Broadway, Pre-Broadway) is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical and Andy Karl (former Fiyero – Broadway) is nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for their work in ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Annaleigh Ashford (former Glinda – Chicago, Broadway; former ensemble, u/s Glinda – 1st Natl. Tour) is nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play for YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU.

The winners will be announced May 11.

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Nessa’s Niblets: April 13, 2015

Norbert Leo Butz

Norbert Leo Butz

Norbert Leo Butz (Original Fiyero – Broadway), Aaron Tveit (former Fiyero – Broadway), and Katie Webber (former Witch’s Mother, ensemble, u/s Nessarose – Broadway) were in the original Broadway cast of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

Laura Bell Bundy (former s/b Glinda – Original Broadway Cast) had a recurring role on the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”.

Mandy Gonzalez (former Elphaba – Broadway) and Robin De Jesus (Boq – Broadway) were both in the original Broadway cast of IN THE HEIGHTS. 

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WICKED Alums Set for Broadway Sings Tori

Kyle Dean Massey

Kyle Dean Massey

Broadway Sings Tori, a one-night concert benefiting RAINN, will take place on Monday, April 20th at (le) Poisson Rouge. Among the performers set to sing the music of the legendary singer-songwriter Tori Amos are WICKED alums Kyle Dean Massey (former Fiyero – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour; former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour) and Mandy Gonzalez (former Elphaba – Broadway).  The evening will be emceed by SiriusXM host Julie James with musical direction by Brian Nash.

(le) Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street. Tickets are available at www.broadwaysingstori.com.

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Nessa’s Niblets: April 6, 2015

Caissie Levy

Caissie Levy

Caissie Levy (former Elphaba, former s/b Elphaba – Los Angeles; former ensemble, u/s Elphaba – Broadway), Jackie Burns (former Elphaba – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour), and Josh Lamon (former Boq – 1st Natl. Tour) were all part of the opening night cast of the 2009 Broadway revival of HAIR. Annaleigh Ashford (former Glinda – Chicago, Broadway; former ensemble, u/s Glinda – 1st Natl. Tour) also performed in this revival.

Kelly Lafarga (ensemble, witch’s mother/midwife u/s – Broadway) was in the movie Step Up 2: The Streets.

Prior to WICKED, Justin Guarini (former Fiyero – Broadway) and Jeanna de Waal (former Glinda – 2nd Natl. Tour) were in the Broadway production of AMERICAN IDIOT.

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Nessa’s Niblets: March 30, 2015

Alison Luff

Alison Luff

Alison Luff (former Elphaba – 1st Natl. Tour) is currently playing Miss Honey in the Broadway production of MATILDA. Other former WICKED cast members who have been in MATILDA include Alex Brightman (former Boq – Broadway) and Richard H. Blake (former Fiyero – Asian Tour, Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour).

Stephen Schwartz (composer of WICKED) and Eugene Lee (Scenic Designer) both graduated from Carnegie Mellon University.

Joel Grey (The Wizard – Original Broadway Cast) was in the opening night cast of the Broadway Revival of ANYTHING GOES. Stephanie J. Block (former Elphaba – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour; former ensemble, u/s Elphaba – Pre-Broadway), Erin Mackey (former Glinda – Broadway, Los Angeles, Chicago; former ensemble, u/s Glinda – Chicago; former swing – 1st Natl. Tour), Brandon Rubendall (former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – 1st Natl. Tour), and Hayley Podschun (former Glinda – 2nd Natl. Tour) also performed in this revival of ANYTHING GOES.

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Nessa’s Niblets: March 16, 2015

Felicia Ricci

Felicia Ricci

Felicia Ricci (former s/b Elphaba, former ensemble, u/s Elphaba – San Francisco) currently teaches a free singing course via her website.  She has also written a book called “Unnatutually Green” about her time in WICKED.

Sam Lips (former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – 2nd Natl. Tour) and Kristine Reese (former Nessarose – 2nd Natl. Tour, 1st Ntl. Tour; former swing, u/s Nessarose – 1st Natl. Tour) are currently touring the country in PIPPIN as Pippin and Catherine respectively.  Other former WICKED cast members to perform in PIPPIN include Kyle Dean Massey (former Fiyero – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour; former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – Broadway, 1st Natl. Tour) and Billy Harrigan Tighe (former Fiyero, former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – 2nd Natl. Tour).

Jeffrey Kuhn (former Boq – Broadway) is currently playing Zazu in the Broadway production of THE LION KING. 

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Emily Mechler Cast in Broadway’s THE VISIT

Emily Mechler

Emily Mechler

Emily Mechler (former ensemble, u/s Glinda – Broadway) has been cast in the upcoming Broadway musical, THE VISIT. Ms. Mechler will cover the roles of Young Claire Zachanassian, Ottilie Schell and Annie Dummermut, played by Michelle Ventimilla, Elena Shadow and Diana DiMarzio, respectively.

Starring Chita Rivera, THE VISIT tells the story of Claire Zachanassian, the world’s wealthiest woman who returns home for the first time in decades. THE VISIT marks the final collaboration between legendary composing team, John Kander and Fred Ebb.

THE VISIT will begin previews at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre March 26, with an opening night set for April 23.

For tickets and more information, visit TheVisitMusical.com.

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WICKED First National Tour to Close 3/15

The final Elphaba and Glinda of the 1st National Tour, Jennifer DiNoia and Chandra Lee Schwartz

The final Elphaba and Glinda of the 1st National Tour, Jennifer DiNoia and Chandra Lee Schwartz

The First National Tour of WICKED will play its final performance this Sunday, March 15 at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Known as the Emerald City Tour, the production will close ten years to the week after the tour began in Toronto.

With 10 Glindas, 14 Elphabas and $790 million in grosses, the First National Tour of WICKED has played 4,160 performances, 124 engagements (including successful return engagements in major U.S. cities) and took in an average gross of $1.5 million a week. It broke box-office house records in every single stop it played. When the tour closes this Sunday, more than 10.3 million people will have seen this production of WICKED.

The second national tour of WICKED (the Munchkinland Tour) continues with no determined end in sight.

The production’s original Glinda was Kendra Kassebaum, who later played the role on Broadway and in San Francisco. Since her departure, the actresses who have played the role of Glinda in this WICKED company include Megan HiltyChristina DeCiccoKatie Rose ClarkeChandra Lee SchwartzAmanda Jane Cooper, Alli MauzeyPatti MurinJenn Gambatese and Gina Beck.

After having participated in early workshops of the show as Elphaba and understudying Idina Menzel in the show’s pre-Broadway engagement in San Francisco, Stephanie J. Block took on the role of Elphaba for the original First National Tour cast. Ms. Block was injured during a final dress rehearsal during a moment that has since been cut from the show, where Elphaba was to fly onto the stage prior to “No Good Deed.” The Toronto premiere of the tour was forced to postpone performances due to Ms. Block’s injury and Kristy Cates, who was understudying the role of Elphaba in the Broadway company of WICKED at the time, stepped in for the first three weeks of previews for the tour. Producers postponed the show’s official opening by a week until Block was well enough to perform the role of Elphaba. Other actresses to have performed the role of Elphaba on the First National Tour include Eden EspinosaJulia MurneyShoshana BeanVictoria MatlockCarmen CusackDonna VivinoJackie BurnsDee RoscioliMamie ParrisNicole ParkerAlison LuffEmma Hunton and Jennifer DiNoia.

The closing Emerald City tour cast of WICKED features Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba, Chandra Lee Schwartz as Glinda, Kim Zimmer as Madame Morrible, Tim Kazurinsky as The Wizard, Nick Adams as Fiyero, Jenny Florkowski as Nessarose, Tom Flynn as Dr. Dillamond, Etai Benson as Boq, Emmy Raver-Lampman as the standby for Elphaba, with Lauren BoydKyle BrownNirine S. BrownRick DeslogeTimothy A. Fitz-GeraldDominic GiudiciBrenda Jean HamiltonSpencer JonesSheila KarlsTrevor Ryan KrahlRebecca KritzerMarina LazzarettoAllison LeoMarissa LuppRaymond Joel MatsamuraJonathan  McGillKevin McMahon, Shanon Mari MillsAshley Dawn MortensenCassie OkenkaAdam PerryChristopher RussoDaniel Switzer and Erin Wilson.

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Nessa’s Niblets: March 9, 2015

Jeanna de Waal

Jeanna de Waal

Jeanna de Waal (former Glinda – 2nd Natl. Tour) and Kennedy Caughell (ensemble, Elphaba u/s – 2nd Natl. Tour) both performed as Heather in AMERICAN IDIOT.

Idina Menzel (original Elphaba – West End, Broadway, Pre-Broadway)Lisa Brescia (former Elphaba – Chicago; former s/b Elphaba – Broadway) and Mandy Gonzalez (former Elphaba – Broadway)all played the role of Amneris in AIDA.

Andy Kelso (former Fiyero – 1st Natl. Tour) and Chris Peluso (former ensemble, u/s Fiyero – 2nd Natl. Tour, 1st Natl. Tour; former Fiyero – 2nd Natl Tour) both played Sky in the Broadway production of MAMMA MIA! Jerad Bortz (ensemble, u/s Fiyero – Broadway) was a Sky u/s. 

 

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