Kathy Fitzgerald, with several tours on Broadway, says she has made a career of playing funny women. When she was offered the Madame Morrible part in Wicked on Broadway, it gave her the first time chance "to play someone really horrible. She is horrible, but somebody has to be the nemesis and somebody the antagonist."
Since spending a year and a half in the role, Fitzgerald has been busy with other projects (she guested on three episodes of the TV show Smash) but now she is on her way to Houston in a national touring company of the blockbuster Tony- and Grammy- award winning tale of two witches - the green Elphaba and the pretty Glinda who provide the "real" story of the witches of Oz.
It's her first tour and her first time in Texas and she's looking forward to staying here for the more than month she'll be in town. Her husband and daughter are coming also, and all plan to spend some time with relatives in Austin.
Fitzgerald was not surprised to hear some Wicked performances here are already approaching sold-out status.
"Wicked has got this massive appeal with these two girls and their friendship. And the music (by Stephen Schwartz) is crazy," Fitzgerald says. "It's not The Wizard of Oz. It's what happened just over there on the edge. It's good story-telling."
Gexa Energy Broadway plays host and Fitzgerald won't be the only Broadway vet on the Hobby Center stage.
John Hillner (La Cage Aux Folles, Mamma Mia!, Footloose and on TV: Person of Interest) will play Dr. Dillamond and Jenny Fellner will reprise her Broadway role of Nessarose.
In its nine years, Wicked has brought in more than $2.9 billion in ticket sales and been seen by 36 million people (more than a couple of whom were repeat attenders). Its strength can be seen in its long Houston run: July 10 through August 11. Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. An added matinee is scheduled Thursday, July 11 at 2 p.m. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com/Houston or by calling 800 -982-2787. $44-$191.40