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Arts & Culture » Television

'Wicked in Concert' to air on PBS Aug. 29

by Jim Provenzano

Rita Moreno, Amber Riley, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in 'Wicked in Concert'
Rita Moreno, Amber Riley, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in 'Wicked in Concert'   

Broadway's return will be celebrated on August 29 with Wicked in Concert, a musical event featuring the songs from one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history. The concert will include new musical arrangements created just for this broadcast, performed by celebrity artists from the worlds of film, pop music, and TV.

The musical, which had early pre-Broadway runs at San Francisco's Curran Theatre, has had a years-long Broadway run, multiple touring companies around the world, and has become a favorite for empowering young girls. Gay composer Stephen Schwartz's score includes the memorable songs "Defying Gravity" and "popular."

Based on the novel by Gregoryy Maguire, the story tells the 'other side' of The Wizard of Oz story (in the L. Frank Baum books and the favorite film adaptation starring Judy Garland). The green-skinned Elphaba endures harassment at the Oz academy while developing a secret friendship with the "good" with Glinda.

Co-hosting the concert will be Wicked's original stars, Emmy and Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth and Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel, who'll welcome more than a dozen performers in the pre-recorded concert.

EGOT winner 89-year-old Rita Moreno will perform, as well as Glee stars Grammy Award nominee Alex Newell and Olivier Award-winner and Grammy Award nominee Amber Riley. Also performing: Tony Award nominee Mario Cantone; Tony and Olivier Award-winning actor Gavin Creel; Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose; Academy Award nominee and Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winner Cynthia Erivo; Stephanie Hsu of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; multi Grammy Award-winning country artist Jennifer Nettles; Grammy Award nominee and co-star of the upcoming film Dear Evan Hansen Isaac Powell; star of TV's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Gabrielle Ruiz; and Tony Award-winner and star of The Glee Project Ali Stroker.

The concert airs locally on KQED August 29 at 9pm PT.
www.pbs.org/show/wicked-concert



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