New Zealand-born star of stage, television and screen, JAY LAGA’AIA, is today confirmed to play The Wizard of Oz in the Auckland season of WICKED – the Broadway musical
blockbuster coming to New Zealand in September.
Jay – known for his roles as Captain Typho in the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – has had a long and illustrious career that includes roles in television shows such as Water Rats, Play School, McLeod’s Daughters, Xena: Warrior Princess, All Saints, Home and Away and Street Legal.
He is also known for his
stage productions such as The Lion King in which he played Mufasa and for playing Judas in the New Zealand production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The role of The Wizard of Oz is a pivotal one in Wicked. It has been performed by television personality Bert Newton for the past few years after the sudden death of New Zealand star Rob Guest in 2008.
“To be able to come home with a show that is absolutely awe-inspiring is something that this prodigal son could only dream about. My biggest fear is not The Wizard but the amount of ticket requests from family and friends! Maybe Glinda or Elphaba could whip up a spell for me.”
“We are very excited for WICKED to premiere at The Civic in Auckland during this 10th Anniversary Year. We trust that audiences there will embrace it as warmly as those in North America, the U.K., Japan, Germany, Holland, South Korea and Australia,” said WICKED producers Marc Platt and David Stone. “It is a testament to the show’s storytelling power that audiences from around the globe continue to embrace its universal themes.”
WICKED Australia Co-Producer John Frost said, “Right from the beginning this show has been an overwhelming hit everywhere it has played. WICKED is a phenomenon, the most beloved musical of the past decade, and appeals to everyone from 8 to 80. People love it for so many different reasons – some people come to see WICKED for the engrossing story, some for the astonishing sets and costumes, some for the soaring ballads, some for the deeper messages, and some to see the life-affirming friendship between the two girls who grow up to be Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
“WICKED is a musical that enchants audiences around the world and right across the spectrum,” Frost said. I’m thrilled to bring her, in all her emerald beauty, to Auckland, before coming home to the wonderful Regent Theatre in Melbourne, where Australian audiences fell in love with WICKED for the first time.”
WICKED plays at The Civic in Auckland from 17th September 2013 – the first stop on its 10th anniversary celebration tour – and will run for a strictly limited season.