Wicked, the Wizard Of Oz prequel that thumbed its nose at chin-scratching critics when it opened in 2003 and has gone on to be one of the biggest Broadway blockbusters of all time, is bringing in the veterans for the summer season. Michele Lee, a two-time Tony and Emmy nominee best known for her performance as Karen Mackenzie on CBS’ Knots Landing, will take over the part of Madame Morrible. She recently performed her show Nobody Does It Like Me: The Music Of Cy Coleman at 54 Below, the popular Broadway after-hours haunt. On Broadway she’s best known for her performances in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Seesaw. She begins on July 5.
Applegate, recently seen as the tippling populist preacher in Sting’s The Last Ship, will play the Wizard, a role originated in this show by Joel Grey. He’s been seen on Broadway in Sister Act, Young Frankenstein and The Producers. Applegate will begin on June 29.
Wicked opened in October 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre to reviews verging on the hostile but quickly tapped into an unserved audience of teenage girls and the parents who buy their tickets. Since then, it has grossed $934 million on Broadway and nearly $4 billion globally.