In honor of the fifth anniversary of the smash hit musical Wicked, New York City will be going green on October 27, celebrating with both a ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building and a star-studded benefit concert titled The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken at the Gershwin Theater.
“Wicked Day” will kick off with the lighting of the Empire State Building with the show’s signature emerald hue in a ceremony hosted by Wicked's Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and the show’s current Elphaba, Kerry Ellis. The lighting will be followed that night by the one-night-only gala concert.
Final casting for the benefit performance, which will feature never-before seen songs and material from original drafts of the Broadway blockbuster, include Grammy Award-winner Ashanti, The View’s Joy Behar, Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone, Academy Award-nominee Buck Henry, Jersey Boys alum Daniel Reichard and Hairspray’s George Wendt, as well as past and present Wicked players Shoshana Bean, Stephanie J. Block, Kate Reinders, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michelle Federer, P.J. Benjamin, Cristy Candler, Ben Liebert and Timothy Britten Parker.
Additional performers for the evening will include current cast members Sonshine Allen, Jerad Bortz, Adam Fleming, Anthony Galde, Kristen Leigh Gorski, Reed Kelly, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Kyle Dean Massey, Lindsay K. Northen, Robert Pendilla, Amanda Rose, Heather Spore, CJ Tyson, Brian Wanee, Jonathan Warren, Katie Webber, Robin Wilner and Samantha Zack.
All proceeds from The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, which will feature direction by Matt Lenz and musical direction by Ben Cohn, will be donated to Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project.
Wicked opened on October 30, 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre and soon became one of the Broadway's most beloved musicals. In addition to New York and a successful national tour, there are sit-down productions of the show in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Stuttgart and Melbourne.