Patti Murin’s Broadway ambitions became a reality last year when she made her Main Stem debut as the title star in the musical Lysistrata Jones. The dream was short lived, however, as the college basketball comedy closed after just 30 performances, despite critical praise. The following months weren’t easy for the young star, but now Murin is back up on her feet, starring as Glinda in the national tour of Wicked.
“After Lysistrata Jones closed, I was so heartbroken," Murin told Broadway.com. "I wouldn’t even talk about it for about a month, because I just couldn’t. In one of my tantrum moments after the show closed, I thought, ‘I just want Wicked to call,'" she said with a laugh. "Low and behold, about four months later, they did.”
The offer to join Wicked came at a transitional time for Murin, who was considering taking a break from theater to pursue TV work. She landed a role on a CBS pilot created by creator Louis CK, and although she described the experience as “amazing,” the network passed on the project. “Pretty much right after that, Wicked called and I was like, ‘I could go back to theater and do a show that people might come and see!'”
Now dressed in Glinda's glamorous dresses, Murin has been enjoying her starring role in the often sold-out tour. “I can’t believe someone is letting me have this much fun. [Elphaba and Glinda] are two of the most fantastically-written female parts in all of musical theater. It’s a wonderful look at these two women and their complex relationship.”
Despite being excited to take on the perky witch, Murin did have trepidations about the job. She admitted it took time to get used to Glinda’s flashy entrance in a giant bubble. "It got to be a lot more fun and not quite as terrifying,” she said. And while the actress describes her character's bouncy solo “Popular” as a “mini play,” Murin felt taking on the song could be “intimidating,” due to the impressive roster of past Glindas. “The audience has been impacted by that song in certain ways and I want to live up to those expectations,” she noted.
And speaking of expectations, Murin is planning on having the best Halloween ever now that she's playing a witch. Her tour schedule even lines up with that of her actor husband Curtis Holbrook, who is currently playing Lucas Beineke in the national tour of The Addams Family. Both actors will be in Seattle for the haunted holiday. “If you take the witches from Wicked and the characters from The Addams Family, we’re going to have one amazing Halloween party. We have no excuse not to!”