Ashanti, The View’s Joy Behar, comedian Mario Cantone, Ugly Betty’s Mark Indelicato, and Gossip Girl’s Matthew Settle will take part in The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, a one-night-only benefit performance celebrating the fifth anniversary of Wicked. Directed by Matt Lenz with musical direction by Ben Cohn, the event will take place on October 27 at the Gershwin Theatre. Proceeds will be donated to Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project.
Also scheduled are former Wicked cast members, including Shoshana Bean and Stephanie J. Block, both of whom played Elphaba, Jennifer Laura Thompson who played the role of Glinda, Michelle Federer, who originated the role of Nessarose, and Kerry Ellis and Kendra Kassebaum, the show’s two current stars. More casting is still to be announced.
The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken will also feature an appearance from composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and book writer Winnie Holzman, who will share scenes and songs from early drafts of the musical, including never-before-seen material, as well as songs cut during the show’s development and pre-Broadway engagement.
In the upcoming concert, press notes state, “Wicked composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and book writer Winnie Holzman will share some of the scenes and songs from early drafts of the musical blockbuster. . . .Featuring never-before-seen material performed publicly for the first time, as well as songs cut during the show’s development and pre-Broadway engagement, this one-night-only event will tell the story of Wicked the way it’s never been told before and will illuminate the various paths the writers took in creating what has become one of the most popular Broadway musicals.”
Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The two main characters meet at Shiz, a school where both hope to take up sorcery. Glinda is madly popular and Elphaba is, well, green. By a misunderstanding, they wind up roommates and, after an initial period of mutual loathing, begin to learn something about each other. Their life paths continue to intersect through a shared love, entry into the Emerald City and interaction with the Wizard himself. Eventually, their choices and convictions take them on widely different paths.
Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.
Tickets for the concert, priced $100-$250 (performance only) and $350-$1,000 (VIP seats), are now available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com