It was announced today that award-winning actor Simon Burke AO will be playing the role of the Wizard during the Melbourne season of the spectacular musical WICKED. After nearly three years playing Harold Zidler, the owner and host of the Moulin Rouge cabaret club, Simon is moving to the Emerald City. “Broadway’s Biggest Blockbuster” (NY Times) will return to its original Australian home at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 2 March.

New tickets have been released on pre-sale today for performances up until 2 June, with general public sales on Friday. An additional preview on Saturday 2 March, at which all tickets are $20, will go on sale at 8am on Wednesday with tickets only available from the Regent Theatre box office.

Simon Burke has appeared in over 130 stage productions in Australia, the UK and North America. In London he starred as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Raoul in The Phantom of the

Opera, Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music opposite Dame Judi Dench and Georges in La Cage Aux Folles opposite John Barrowman. His Australian musical theatre highlights include Mr Banks in Mary Poppins, Marius in the original Australian cast of Les Misérables, Billy in Anything Goes and most recently Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge. At age 13, he made his acting debut in the 1976 classic feature film The Devil’s Playground, winning the Australian Film Institute Best Actor award, and has since appeared in countless films and television shows, including a long running stint on Play School.

Producer John Frost for Crossroads Live, on behalf of his co-producers, said, “We’re very excited to welcome Simon Burke to the land of Oz. Simon has a prestigious career on stage, television and film and is an audience favourite – he will make a wonderful Wizard of Oz, joining our astonishing cast. Tickets sales for WICKED have been defying gravity in Melbourne, and the previews we have added are almost sold out. I’m sure Melbourne fans will be thrillified that we’ve added extra performances through to June due to huge demand. WICKED is a proven blockbuster all around the world and has become one of the most loved musicals of all time. Get your tickets Melbourne; they’re flying out the door.”

Simon Burke is overjoyed to play the Wizard in Melbourne. “I’ve seen WICKED in London and New York and loved it, then saw the magnificent Australian cast in Sydney recently and fell in love with the show all over again. I’m beyond excited to join these wonderful performers in what I think is a perfect production, and can’t wait to get started.

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