Who is Who in WICKED’s road to fame

Wicked is easily one of the most successful musicals to hit
Broadway in the past decade. It consistently plays to sold out crowds in New
York, and supports two national tours as well as a trio of international
runs. Truthfully, its hard to think of Broadway these days without the
witches of Oz. With all of this success, let’s take a look at actors that
Wicked has made famous over the years.

Kristin Chenoweth – No list would be complete without the original
Glinda. The role wasn’t Chenoweth’s first flirtation with fame, as she
locked down her only Tony Award for her performance as Sally in You’re a
Good Man, Charlie Brown
in 1999. In June 2003, she followed
Wicked to San Francisco for its tryout at the Curran Theatre then
hopped back to New York for its official opening in October. After a year as
Galinda, she bid ado to the part. In the eight years since, she has been
involved in several Broadway, television and film projects. She’s perhaps
best known for her recurring role on Glee as April Rhodes as well
as the critically acclaimed, yet short lived television series Pushing
. She returned to Broadway in 2006 with the revival of The
Apple Tree
and again in 2010 opposite Sean Hayes in Promises,
. She has four albums to her name with her most recent being a
country turn on Some Lessons Learned.

Idina Menzel – Chenoweth’s cohort in the original production of
Wicked, Idina Menzel is perhaps best known for the work she did
prior to Wicked in Broadway’s Rent. After an Off-Broadway and
Broadway run that stretched over a year and a half, she gathered her
accolades in search of other projects. Menzel was also part of the original
Wicked cast who enthralled San Fran audiences before storming
Broadway. After getting the Tony nomination for Rent, she won Best
Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as a green girl in
Wicked. Her portrayal of Elphaba beat out Chenoweth for the high
honor. She also opened Wicked on the West End in 2006 when she
reprised her role. Menzel has gone on to star in the Rent motion
picture. Though she has had supporting roles on Glee as well as an
array of film projects (Enchanted, Kissing Jessica Stein),
her key successes in the years since Wicked have come through recording and
touring. She’s played several sold out tours supporting her four album
releases. She’s shared the stage with the likes of Josh Groban, sang
“Defying Gravity” for the president, and played with some of the world’s
most prestigious orchestras. Even with all that stuffing her resume, many
women will always see her crowning achievement as snagging her husband, her
sexy Rent co-star Taye Diggs. As an interesting side note, Diggs
briefly subbed in as Fiyero in 2003.

Megan Hilty – Fresh out of Carnegie Mellon, Hilty started as a
standby for Galinda before taking over the role in Wicked on
Broadway in May 2005. She stayed on for a year before departing to take
Wicked on the road at the tail end of 2006. She even took a turn in the Los
Angeles production of Wicked in 2007. Its fair to say no actress
knows the heart and soul of Galinda better than Hilty. She took another turn
on Broadway in the Dolly Parton inspired 9 to 5: The Musical in
2009. These days she is best known for her work as Marilyn in the hit NBC
show Smash. She battles with American Idol darling
Katharine McPhee for the lead role in this inside look at the inner workings
of a Broadway production.

Adam Lambert – Speaking of American Idol, season eight
runner-up Adam Lambert cut his teeth in theatre before he became a
television sensation. He served as an understudy for Fiyero and an ensemble
cast member in the national touring production of Wicked in 2005
and took another stint in the Los Angeles production in 2007. For those who
watched him torch the competition on Idol, it is easy to see how
that early drama work paid huge dividends once he hit the national stage. In
the days since American Idol, Lambert has released a duo of
successful albums as well sang as a stand-in for Queen frontman Freddie
Mercury on the band’s 2012 European festival dates.

Patty Duke – Duke was a fixture in America’s heart long before Wicked
was ever conceived. She starred in The Patty Duke Show during the
60s as well as highly acclaimed roles in The Miracle Worker and
Valley of the Dolls. She would win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar
for her portrayal of Helen Keller. She took a stab at Madame Morrible when
Wicked returned to San Francisco in 2009. She stayed on in the role
for a year.

By Troy Christian, editor of Broadway Tour. For complete tour cities, cast
information and the latest show updates, visit the Wicked Tour page at
BroadwayTour.net. Follow Broadway Tour on Facebook and Twitter @BroadwayTours.

2 thoughts on “Who is Who in WICKED’s road to fame

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