Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

WICKED, Broadway's Biggest Blockbuster to Return to Philadelphia's Academy of Music, January 6-24

OCTOBER 16, 2009

Tickets on Sale Friday, October 16!

By Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, Based on the Novel by Gregory Maguire

After breaking box office records and selling out in record time in 2006 and 2007,WICKED, the smash-hit musical, will return to Philadelphia's Academy of Music beginning January 6 – 24. Tickets for the return engagement go on sale Friday, Oct. 16 at 10am.

Tickets range in price from $30 to $100 with a limited number of VIP premium seats available for $150. Part of the Broadway Series, tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at www.kimmelcenter.org, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Sts. (open daily 10am to 6pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad & Locust Sts. (open during performances only). Special Group pricing for select performances is available for groups of 20 or more by calling 215-790-5883.

Performances include: Tuesday – Thursday evenings at 7:30pm; Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30pm; matinees Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 1pm. There will be one weekday matinee on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 2pm.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman ("My So Called Life," "Once And Again" and "thirtysomething"), WICKED, the untold story of the witches of Oz, is directed by two-time Tony® Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues, 9 to 5) and features musical staging by Tony® Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who's Tommy, How To Succeed…).

Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED, winner of 26 major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz. It is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

"We are thrilled to once again welcome the return of WICKED for a third encore engagement," said Anne Ewers, Kimmel Center President and CEO. "The popularity and success of WICKED's two previous visits to the Academy of Music proves that Philly loves WICKED!"

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, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

WICKED has "cast quite a spell" (Washington Post) throughout North America, breaking box office records in every city that it has played, including Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Boston to name a few.

Called "one of the most successful shows in Broadway history" by the New York Times and "a phenomenon that keeps growing" by the Los Angeles Times, WICKED continues to thrill audiences around the world. There are currently eight productions of WICKED worldwide, including two North American tours, a Broadway production, San Francisco production, London production, a Japanese-language production, a German-language production and Australian production. A Dutch-language production of WICKED will open in 2011.

WICKED features set design by Tony® Award winner Eugene Lee (Ragtime, Show Boat, Candide, Sweeney Todd), costume design by Tony® winner Susan Hilferty (Into the Woods, Assassins), lighting design by Tony® nominee Kenneth Posner (Hairspray) and sound design by Tony Meola (The Lion King and the recent Man of La Mancha). Stephen Oremus is the show's musical director. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn, with dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott. The Grammy® Award-winning cast recording is available on Decca Broadway. For more information about WICKED log on to www.wickedthemusical.com.

The Broadway Series is presented by the Kimmel Center in association with the Shubert Organization and is sponsored by Citibank with support provided by American Airlines.

In addition to WICKED, 2009-2010 Broadway Series productions at the Academy of Music, Forrest Theatre and Merriam Theater will include: Mamma Mia! (Nov. 3 – 8); Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Nov. 24 – Dec. 6); Disney's The Lion King (March 23 – April 24); August: Osage County (April 27 – May 2) at the Forrest Theatre; Avenue Q (June 18 – 20); and Dreamgirls (June 21 – 27).

Additional Broadway Series productions will include: The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis (Nov.14); RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles (Feb. 2 – 6); The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Feb. 9 – 14) at the Merriam Theater; ANNIE (Feb. 26 – 28) at the Merriam Theater; GROVALOO: The Hip Hop Experience (March 9 – 14) at the Merriam Theater; and Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance (May 14 – 16) at the Merriam Theater.

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