On behalf of his co-producers Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone, John Frost for Crossroads Live has announced the two young actresses who have secured the coveted roles of Elphaba and Glinda in Wicked, which flies into Australia’s Emerald City at the Sydney Lyric from 25 August.
Sheridan Adams will play Elphaba, the girl born with emerald-green skin who grows up to become the “Wicked Witch of the West”, while Courtney Monsma will play Glinda, the bubbly, popular girl who becomes “Glinda the Good”.
A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Adams has performed in the ensemble of Tick, Tick… Boom! (Storeyboard Entertainment) and Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical (David Venn Enterprises). Elphaba is Adams’ first leading role.
Since graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium, Monsma has quickly become an artist in demand, performing in Six The Musical, Mamma Mia! and the Australasian tour of Aladdin. She is best known for starring as Princess Anna in the recent Australian tour of Disney’s Frozen, and is currently filming the new Australian drama series Paper Dolls, in which she plays one of five aspiring singers who are thrust into the spotlight in pursuit of pop-stardom and fame.
The producers are thrilled to have been able to cast such strong leading performers. “When Sheridan auditioned for an ensemble role and we heard her sing ‘Defying Gravity,’ we were mesmerised. When she sang ‘Defying Gravity’ four times in a row, getting stronger each time, we immediately knew we had found our Elphaba,” said John Frost. “Courtney has proven to be an exciting performer in Frozen, Six and Aladdin, but we didn’t know how funny she could be until she blew us away during the auditions. We are so excited to have Australia’s two most electrifying new leading ladies play Elphaba and Glinda.”
He continued, “We’re delighted also that Sydney has embraced Wicked, and tickets are flying out the door. The show is loved by Australians and over the past 19 years, it has certainly become one of the most loved musicals of all time. We can’t wait for it to open in Sydney in August, and for audiences to fall in love with Sheridan Adams and Courtney Monsma. Don’t miss out!”
Adams is elated to be playing the role of Elphaba. “Wicked is a very special show for so many people, including me. Elphaba has been my dream role since I was young. My first experience was on You Tube, watching Idina Menzel sing ‘Defying Gravity,’ and I sang it all the time. Then my Mum bought me The Grimmerie, and I finally got to see the show when I was 16. This is a dream come true.”
Monsma agreed. “Wicked was one of the first professional shows I ever saw. I remember getting a ticket through my high school, and I was absolutely mesmerised. As a kid, I was obsessed by The Wizard of Oz, so having that connection, it blew my mind. I’m so excited to be in Wicked; this is a dream come true. I’ve always loved the role of Glinda. The sparkle and the gowns drew me to her, but I think Glinda has a beautiful heart, and I love the journey she gets to go on throughout the show.”
Almost 20 years since its premiere on Broadway, Wicked remains one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world. The show is the winner of over 100 major awards including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards® and six Drama Desk Awards.
The musical has played in 16 countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Philippines, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and has been translated into six languages. By the time of its first performance in Sydney, Wicked will have become the fourth longest running show in Broadway history (surpassing CATS).
The novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire, published in 1995, has sold 5.5 million copies, with 5 million of those sold since 2003, when the musical opened. Buoyed by the musical’s success, the novel has appeared on bestseller lists for close to two decades since its initial publication.
Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other young women meet in the land of Oz. One born with emerald-green skin is smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. The other is bubbly, blonde, ambitious and exceptionally popular. They become rivals, then friends…until the world decides to call one “good” and the other one “wicked.”
For tickets to the Australian production of Wicked, visit wickedthemusical.com.au.