There will be some upcoming lineup changes in the current touring version of “Wicked” as Nicole Parker and PJ Benjamin will be added to the cast this month.
Both will join the cast in Denver, with Benjamin arriving to play The Wizard on May 8 and Parker coming to fill the role of Elphaba on May 18. They will join a cast that currently features Alli Mauzey as Glinda and Liz McCartney as Madame Morrible.
Benjamin comes directly from the Broadway version of the show, where he has played the Wizard for five years. Before that, he also appeared as Mr. Cellophane in the national tour version of “Chicago.” He’s also appeared on Broadway in “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Pippin,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Sarava,” “Charlie and Algernon,” “The Wind in the Willows,” “The Pajama Game” and “Damn Yankees.”
Parker also had played Elphaba previously on Broadway, and has also appeared in “The People in The Picture” and “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.” She is perhaps best known to more widespread audience from her six year stint on Fox’s “MADtv.”
The current tour is the first national tour of “Wicked,” and is presented by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman. The production will run in Denver at the Buell Theatre through May 20.
Previews for the original Broadway version of “Wicked” began May 28, 2003, with an official opening following on June 10, 2003. The musical has gone on to become one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time.
The musical is based on the 1995 novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked With of the West,” which is a parallel novel of “The Wizard of Oz.” The story is told from the perspective of the witches, including Elphaba.
The current national tour has been ongoing since it began in 2009.