Tag Archives: Wicked

Interview with WICKED’s Jesse JP Johnson

WICKED’s Jesse JP Johnson told us what it’s like to have your dream come true after answering your questions on Twitter last week. If it happens, you might be so happy you could melt!

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WICKED Actor Jesse JP Johnson Can’t Stay Away From Chicago For Long

Jesse JP Johnson as Boq

Jesse JP Johnson as Boq
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Chicago has always had a special place in my heart. Not only did I spend summers here as a kid but Chicago was also where my Mother grew up. I am also lucky to call Chicago my first workplace as it was where I debuted my first leading role in a national tour (Doody in Grease) about 9 years ago. We opened at the Chicago Theater and my entire family was able to attend. It was such a magical and special evening! Since then I have worked here five times and it has only gotten better.  The audiences, for one thing, continue to blow me away. They have such an amazing energy along with a great appreciation for the arts.  They remind me of audiences in New York but with a warm mid-western charm!

The city itself is so energetic and there are almost too many areas and things I love to do here that it is hard to pick a favorite.  Whenever I’m here I find myself going to the museums, the Shedd Aquarium, shopping on Michigan Avenue and taking in the incredible architecture. Unfortunately, I usually find myself here during the winter so those are the main things I am able to enjoy without freezing my pants off. I will say, though, that the weather is the perfect excuse to explore all of the amazing restaurants and eat EVERYTHING! All the food is great but nothing has compared to the chocolate cake I have destroyed at Gilt Bar, an incredible restaurant I discovered within walking distance of our theater. As far as going out, I love to explore the Wicker Park area. So far it has the most interesting places to go out in, from The Violate Hour speakeasy to the Emporium arcade bar! It reminds me a lot of the Village in NYC or Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A home away from home, I will always look forward to an excuse to visit Chicago… and being able to perform in one of the most beautiful and intricately designed theaters I’ve ever seen is just the topper on the cake!

We’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A with Jesse on Thursday, November 21 at 1 p.m. Be sure to tweet your questions here using #WickedBIC and he’ll respond with his answers! 

You can see Jesse perform as Boq in WICKED at the Oriental Theatre now through December 21st. Click here to buy your tickets now.

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Short & Sweet: Wicked

Diana Martinez and guest critic Sarah Pouls give you the Short & Sweet review on Wicked:

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See Rondi Reed in Wicked and get free gas

Steve on Broadway

June 27, 2008

Less than two weeks ago, August: Osage County‘s Rondi Reed (pictured) was honored with a Tony Award for her stellar performance as Mattie Fae Aiken.The

Steppenwolf ensemble member has since returned home to Chicago, to a role she originated in the Windy City just over three years ago to the day. Once again, she’ll become Madame Morrible in Chicago‘s sitdown production of Wicked. Reed will join fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member K. Todd Freeman, who portrays Doctor Dillamond.Certainly, her reappearance in the production should be more than enough to entice Midwesterners to make tracks to the city’s Oriental Theatre. But wait! There’s more!

For performances from July 1 though 6, those who purchase two tickets (with the exception of lowest priced seating) are eligible to receive one $50 gas card. The offer’s fine print states:

Valid only for July 1- 6, 2008 performances. Must use code “GAS” when ordering. Not valid on lowest price seating. Gas cards will be distributed at the orchestra level bar on the night of the performance when you present your coded ticket. Subject to availability. Limited number of seats per performance and price level. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Regular ticketing and handling fees will apply. Other restrictions may apply. Not available at outlets.

While the Chicago sitdown production of Wicked is now due to close on January 25, 2009 after 1500 performances and grossing more than $200 million, I would strongly suggest that anyone hoping to see Rondi Reed perform best get there over the next few months. After all, August: Osage County is due to begin performances in London with most of its original cast come November, and I’d say it’s a good bet that Reed will be returning to the role that earned her that well-deserved Tony.

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Tony award winner Reed returns to Wicked


By Andrew Gans
26 Jun 2008



Rondi Reed, who won a 2008 Tony Award for her performance as August: Osage County‘s Mattie Fae Aiken, the overbearing mother with a big secret, will return to the Chicago company of Wicked June 27.


Reed will again portray the evil Madame Morrible, a role she created for Chicago audiences.


As previously announced, the Chicago company of Wicked, which plays the Ford Center for the Performing Arts’ Oriental Theatre, will end its lengthy run Jan. 25, 2009. When it closes, the hit Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical will have played 1,500 performances and grossed over $200 million.


Wicked began performances in Chicago June 24, 2005. The cast currently features Lisa Brescia as Elphaba and Annaleigh Ashford as Glinda.

The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre is located at 24 W. Randolph Street in Chicago, IL. For more information visit www.broadwayinchicago.com




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Rejoicify & Festivate

Wicked 365 2007 © Bob Carl


After three years & performing to an audience of over 2,000,000, WICKED remains the most “Popular” show in all of Oz and has changed Chicago “For Good.”  Soon entering an unprecedented third and final year at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, the record-breaking Chicago company of WICKED is proud to celebrate another anniversary in the Windy City.  In honor of the occasion, WICKED/Chicago and Broadway In Chicago will again host a public celebration at The Great Lawn of Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (corner of Columbus Dr. and Randolph St.) on Tuesday, June 24 at 11:00 a.m.




WICKED’s diverse supporters and enthusiasts will descend on Millennium Park’s scenic Great Lawn and are invited to arrive ‘GREEN-ified’ – dressed as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.  The producers, in gratitude of Chicago’s enthusiasm and support, have made arrangements for the first 365 “fully greenified and WICKED’ly dressed witches” to receive a pair of tickets to a future performance.


Everyone is welcome, whether you come dressed in costume or not, to join in the festivities, hosted by current cast members in the Chicago company.  The cast will lead a mesmerizing group sing-a-long of Defying Gravity, showing Chicagoans that “everyone deserves a chance to fly.”  The WICKED good time will continue with the first-ever chance to learn the Elphie-Dance in Dancing Through Life.


Additionally, there will be a special drawing for $25 tickets to that evening’s show that will also include a rare backstage tour following the show in celebration of WICKED’s third and final Windy City birthday.




Reserve tickets for Behind the Emerald Curtain and the anniversary performance on Tuesday, June 24 and enjoy a short meet-and-greet with cast members following the tour.


Now in its final year at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, the event marks the third annual public celebration and Chicago’s last chance to join in this annual fête for Chicago’s beloved musical phenomenon.  Last year’s gathering welcomed over a thousand WICKED enthusiasts to the park and a complete spectrum of greenified “witches” from Elphabas young and old, male and female alike.



For all the details, click here.

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