The New 411
By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader
Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was Tony-nominated for her performance as Deena Jones in the original company of the award-winning musical Dreamgirls, will join the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked” next month.
Beginning November 1, Ralph will step into the role of Madame Morrible. She succeeds Tony winner Judy Kaye, who will play her final performance October 30. Ralph returned to Broadway in 2002, originating the role of Muzzy Van Hossmere in the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. On television, she starred as Dee on “Moesha,” Claudette on Ray Donovan and Maggie on “Instant Mom.” Her film credits include “To Sleep with Anger,” for which she won an Independent Spirit Award. Most recently, Ralph wrapped filming “Step Sisters” and “Villa Capri,” opposite Morgan Freeman.
The Broadway cast currently includes Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba, Carrie St. Louis as Glinda, Michael Campayno as Fiyero, Peter Scolari as The Wizard, Dawn E. Cantwell as Nessarose, Michael Genet as Dr. Dillamond and Zachary Noah Piser as Boq. “The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz,” “Wicked,” according to press notes, “tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made “Wicked” one of the world’s most popular musicals. The Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical continues at the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com/wicked. For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.