Leading Australian theatre producer John Frost today announced that the role of the Wizard for the Brisbane and Perth seasons of the Broadway musical will be played by much loved musical theatre star Simon Gallaher.
Since he first trod the musical theatre stage in 1984 in The Pirates of Penzance, Simon Gallaher has starred in numerous productions including Hello Dolly, The Student Prince, My Fair Lady, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Merry Widow, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and most recently Hairspray and Spamalot in Brisbane. As well as being a leading star of musical theatre, Simon is an award winning television star, concert performer, musician, pianist, songwriter and successful theatrical producer.
John Frost said, “I have been hoping to work with Simon for many years, and I’m thrilled that he has accepted our invitation to play The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the Brisbane and Perth seasons of WICKED. In 1985 Simon starred in the very first show at QPAC, the hugely successful The Pirates of Penzance, and in the week QPAC celebrates its 30th Birthday he will open there in Broadway’s biggest blockbuster WICKED – a wonderful case of serendipity. Simon also met his wife in Perth 30 years ago so is looking forward to returning there to perform at the Crown Theatre. I can’t wait to see Simon’s take on the Wizard of Oz as part of the 10th Anniversary of WICKED.”
Broadway’s #1 show for an unprecedented eleven consecutive years, WICKED has been declared “A Cultural Phenomenon” by Variety and “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly. When WICKED opened on Broadway, it worked its magic on critics and audiences alike. Winner of over 90 major awards including the Grammy Award, three Tony Awards and seven Helpmann® Awards including Best Musical, WICKED is the untold 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.
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production features musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by Lisa Leguillou, based on the original direction by Joe Mantello. WICKED is produced by Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and John Frost.
After its record breaking run in Melbourne, WICKED plays at Sydney’s magnificent Capitol Theatre until January 30, then transfers to the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 12 February and to the Crown Theatre, Burswood from 3 May for a strictly limited season.