WICKED Delights Blind Children’s Learning Center

Members from the current touring production of WICKED spent some of their time offstage with children from the Blind Children’s Learning Center in Santa Ana. Seven cast members performed a number of songs for the students as a surprise treat. The event was facilitated by Johnson Gray Advertising, who is currently working with the nonprofit to create a strategic marketing plan that will increase their awareness in the community.

The only school of its kind in Southern California, the Blind Children’s Learning Center provides children who are visually impaired a learning environment that encourages and fosters independence in everyday life while preparing them for the future. The Center also promotes the attendance of sighted children who are placed in classrooms alongside the visually impaired.

“The cast and I always enjoy meeting our younger fans. We take advantage of as many opportunities as we can to reach out to the kids in the community. Everyone I spoke with was eager to attend and support this incredible organization,” said Michelle London, who plays Nessarose and is an agency alumna. Randy Lopez of Johnson Gray added, “We wanted to create a unique opportunity for the kids and faculty of the Blind Children’s Learning Center and these cast members were so gracious to donate their time and talent.”



The Ladies of Wicked open “Cabaret For A Cause-Open Your Heart at Open Mic”

A new cabaret series will kick off April 4 at 8 PM at Rachel’s Restaurant on West 43rd Street. Cabaret For A Cause-Open Your Heart at Open Mic will host for their first evening our beloved Wicked Ladies Libby Servais, Meggie Cansler, Alyssa Fox, Jenn Furman and Alicia Albright.

A portion of the beverage and food proceeds will go to St. Jude’s.

There is no cover charge and no minimum. Rachel’s is located on West 43rd Street and Ninth Avenue.

Richard H. Blake to join as Fiyero in Wicked on Broadway

Richard H. Blake will replace Kyle Dean Massey in the role of Fiyero in the Broadway company of Wicked

Mr. Blake will begin his performances on March 29, while Kyle Dean Massey is playing his last on March 27.

Blake’s other Broadway credits includeLegally Blonde (Warner), The Wedding Singer (Glen Guglia), Hairspray (Link),Aida (Radames), Saturday Night Fever (Tony Manero), Rent (Roger), Prince of Central Park (Prince), Macbeth (Boy Macduff) and The Sound of Music (Friedrich).


Meredith Kaye Clark sings at Pink at The Brown

Our beloved Meredith Kaye Clark will be singing ‘Defying Gravity” this Thursday at the Pink at the Brown benefit in Houston, TX.

Pink at the Brown, an evening of short performances benefiting the Pink Ribbons Project, show will also feature artists from Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, the Alley Theatre and Da Camera of Houston as well as guests presented by Society for the Performing Arts and the Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center serie.

• When : 8 p.m. Thursday

• Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas

• Tickets: $30-$200 (all tickets include champagne and dessert after the show); 713-524-7465.



Editorial: Dayseating Experience for Wicked London

by Sarah

Regular visitors to the Apollo Victoria will know that you cannot buy the front row seats to Wicked London in advance; they are only available from 10am on the day of the show. This has led to the phenomenon known as dayseaters. This system is also at place at several other London shows but the Wicked dayseaters are particularly “notorious” and are frequently discussed at length on internet message boards. When Kerry Ellis left Wicked people set up camp on the pavement for several days (or was it weeks? Months?) to secure the elusive front row seats. At least that was in May so temperatures weren’t too low but had it been freezing cold icy temperatures I don’t think that would have been enough to deter them!

Living far away from London , dayseating is not really an option for me. I did do it once though, and this is that story…

Last June I decided what could be better than taking a Wednesday off work and getting an overnight coach to London? Not only would I miss a team meeting (admitedly, always a bonus) but it was an understudy-fest at the AV; with Danny Mac on as Boq and Stevie Tate Bauer on as Nessarose. I boarded the coach with some trepidation for my first experience of dayseating but I had my mp3 player and a nice packed lunch to keep me company.

Arriving into Victoria Coach station at around 6:30am I thought it was a little early to join the queue, I didn’t want to appear too eager/sad/obsessed* you see (* delete as appropriate) so I concentrated on trying to wake myself up with copious amounts of black coffee. At around 7am (a far more respectable time…) I made my way to join the queue and quite frankly I was disappointed!! Where were the obsessed fans with sleeping bags and tents that had been here all night? Where was the random loony with their face painted green? Where were the fangirls with their photo albums? This lot (all four of them) appeared to be normal, respectable members of society. Gutted! I sat myself down on the cold concrete ground, giving a little nod to the person in front of me and waited. Early risers were walking past on their way to work, most hardly looking at the hardy soles sat on the dirty street. Others glanced over with quizzical looks in their eye. Looks of
sympathy? Looks of amusement? Probably a bit of both. Victoria is always very busy with lots going on and lots of people watching to do which was good as nobody in the queue was saying anything. I expected us to become lifelong friends; to bond whilst talking about our favourite Standbys or our favourite show bloopers but this did not happen… Most were by themselves getting tickets for themselves and friends, or were tourists who had heard about the Wicked phenomenon and fancied checking it out for themselves. Several people were getting tickets for both the matinee and the evening show. The same seat for both. I don’t get that. If you are doing both shows why not mix it up a bit? One on the left and one on the right? Or else the poor cast will think they are going through their very own version of Groundhog Day.

Eventually it got to ten o’clock and the box office opened so we could get our tickets. Well, we could pay for our tickets. The computer was broken so they couldn’t print our tickets off, and just had to write our name and our allocated seat number on a piece of paper. This was no good for me as a serial worrier. What if the paper was lost? What if there was some sabotage? Thankfully, a couple of hours later I finally had the tickets in my hand and I could relax and breathe a sign of relief. My experience of dayseating? It’s not for me, I just haven’t got the patience.

Boston Pops Season to Feature former Wicked stars Julia Murney and Stephanie J. Block

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops will kick off the 2011 Spring Pops Season May 11.

A series of concerts will pay tribute to American icons, showcasing such innovators of the American Songbook as Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers and George Gershwin. These concerts will launch with a performance featuring virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Ellis Hall June 3 and 4.

Broadway and the American Songbook, which will be offered June 16-17, will welcome New York Pops conductor Steven Reineke to the Symphony Hall podium.  He will be joined by Broadway’s Stephanie J. Block and Julia Murney, who will perform selections from the American Songbook. Audiences can expect such tunes as “Defying Gravity” and “The Wizard and I,” both from the musical Wicked.

Tickets for the 2011 Boston Pops season at Symphony Hall, priced $21-$121, go on sale at 8 AM at http://www.bostonpops.org and 10 AM at (617) 266-1200 on March 21.

from Playbill