Theater League ‘Wicked’ production features local tiesWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo roots are strong in “Wicked,” currently touring the country.
Approaching its 10th anniversary in October, the show follows two women of Oz before Dorothy ever visited. Unveiling the origins of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, it will run at the Stranahan Theater from Aug. 14 through Sept. 1.
“Theater League is thrilled to bring ‘Wicked’ back to Toledo,” said Mark Edelman, president of Theater League. “The phenomenon that is ‘Wicked’ just keeps growing … whether audience members are seeing this amazing musical for the first time or repeating the experience, ‘Wicked’ is sure to entertain like no other show and leave a lasting impression on Toledo and the surrounding area.”
Jane Brockman, who plays The Midwife and is an understudy for Madame Morrible, has ties to Toledo. Her father-in-law is a local minister at Collingwood Presbyterian Church.
“I’m from Pennsylvania; I’ve gone through Ohio just about every year of my life,” Brockman said. She said she loves what Toledo has to offer, especially the places to eat. She makes it a point to visit local eateries when she visits the area.
“I’m going to go to Gino’s and Tony Packo’s whether I have downtime or not,” she said. “Those are a must.”
Brockman has been traveling with “Wicked” for 14 months. Her character delivers a baby in the beginning and she then performs with the ensemble throughout the show. She said being an understudy comes with challenges.
“I think the challenge for me and for most other understudies is to keep up on the role that you’re understudying when you’re not going on,” Brockman said. “Other than that, it’s just a really fun show to do.”
Brockman said she was a fan of “Wicked” before being cast.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the show,” she said.
Another player with local ties is Company Manager Kevin Beebee, a Bowling Green State University alumnus. He will visit BGSU when the show stops in Toledo to lecture an arts management class.
Beebee was in “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Children of Eden” as a student. He said he has put acting on the back burner for now because he is enjoying the management side.
As the company manager, he deals with all financials and travel details for the cast members.
“Wicked” means big business for the Stranahan Theater.
“The last time we were in Toledo, the show broke the local box office records,” Beebee said. “Being on that type of high and that type of energy, to come back is always nice.”
Opening night will be at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. The final performance is at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1. For a full list of dates, visit stranahantheater.org.
The musical is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello and features musical staging by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento. The musical has won 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony awards.