ASU Gammage is preparing for the landing of the Broadway hit WICKED, which is set to open February 15. With music and lyrics by Stephan Schwatz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and Winnie Holzman(“My So Called Life, “Once And Again” and “thirtysomething”), WICKED tells the story of the witches of OZ.
Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
Before WICKED comes to the Gammage stage, Paul Slade Smith spoke a little bit about his latest trip back to Tempe and ASU Gammage. Smith plays Doctor Dillamond in the production who is a talking goat professor at the Shiz University. Smith appeared in the San Francisco production fro nine months. He also appeared in The Phantom of the Opera National tour. During 15 years in Chicago, he was in The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Marriott Theater and First Folio. He is also the author of the plays Unnecessary Farce and A Real Lulu.
Have you ever played Tempe before?
PSS: Yes! I believe this is my third visit -- all with Wicked.
If yes, what do you enjoy about the Gammage?
PSS: It's a treat to perform in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I lived for a while in Oak Park, Illinois, and visited his home and studio there.
What are you most excited to see/do in AZ?
PSS: I'm excited to experience Tempe in February! Last time, we were there in July! Everyone said, "oh, you really should visit us in February". I guess we took their advice.
WICKED will be appearing at ASU Gammage February 15 through March 11.