Wicked Tour

Patty Duke Joins Wicked San Francisco Cast as Madame Morrible
Producers for Wicked, the smash hit musical, today announced that starting on March 24 Patty Duke, Academy Award winning actress, will be playing Madame Morrible. The current Madame Morrible, Carol Kane had been scheduled from the beginning for only a limited engagement for the first eight weeks when Wicked returned to its home of San Francisco. Kane will be giving her last performance on March 22 in San Francisco at Orpheum Theatre. Along with the new casting taking place in March, beginning on March 15 new tickets will be available for the Wicked open ended engagement.

In Patty Duke’s six decade career she won an Oscar for her Helen Keller portrayal in The Miracle Worker, a film from 1962. It was a reprisal of her stage portrayal. She also starred in The Patty Duke Show along with around 100 television movies. Patty Duke has been nominated for ten Emmys and won three awards, along with a People’s Choice Award and two Golden Globes. She is also the author of the best selling books A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic Depression Illness and Call Me Anna. Duke appeared on stage recently in Oklahoma! On Broadway as well as Gypsy and Follies.

Critics and audiences in San Francisco are very closely connected with Wicked. The world premiere for the musical was May 28, 2003 at Curran Theatre in San Francisco. The engagement came after a very long period of development where the entire cast and creative team completely immersed themselves to the launch of the musical at Curran Theater. Wicked, from their San Francisco roots, became a huge phenomenon worldwide that has helped to redefine theatrical popular culture.

The return of Wicked to San Francisco has received unanimous critical response. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Wicked as perfectly entertaining as well as thrilling. The Contra Cost Times exclaimed Wicked was a beautiful homecoming and was a beautiful musical that was welcomed home to a sincere and deserved standing ovation. The San Jose Mercury News exclaimed that the powerful spell cast by Wicked plucked at the heartstring as well as intellect.

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsome proclaimed that September 26, 2008 was Wicked Day, as he welcomed the return of the international sensation back to San Francisco where the musical made its world premiere.

Wicked recently celebrated its Broadway 5th Anniversary. The international and North American companies for Wicked have grossed cumulatively more than $1.3 billion with over 16 million people seeing the production worldwide.

There are currently four North American Wicked companies: at Gershwin Theatre on Broadway in New York, at Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, and two touring productions of North America.

There are four current international Wicked productions, including at Apollo Victoria Theatre in London; Tokyo; Stuttgart and Melbourne.

Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, with lyrics and music from Stephen Schwartz. The book is from Winnie Holzman and director is Joe Mantello. Wayne Cilento does musical staging. Producers are Marc Platt, Jon. B Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures and The Araca Group.

Wicked tells the Oz witches untold story. Before Dorothy ever makes it to Oz, two young girls meet there. One of the girls has emerald green skin and is fiery, misunderstood and very smart. The other girl is very popular, beautiful and ambitious. Wicked narrates the two girls journey of how become unlikely friends and then grow up to be Glinda the Good Witch and Wicked Witch of the West.

Set design for Wicked is from Eugene Lee, Tony Award winner, Susan Hilferty, another Tony Award winner does the costume design. Kenneth Posner does the lighting design and Tony Meola the sound design. William David Brohn does the orchestrations and James Lynn Abbott the dance arrangements.

By Julie Harmon On March 24, 2009
All photos made available via creative commons licensing courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.