The National Touring Company of Wicked (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Wicked, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster and Fort Lauderdale’s most popular musical, will return to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts February 14 – March 4.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Academy Award-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life,” “Once And Again” and “thirtysomething”), Wicked is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues) and features musical staging by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who’s Tommy, How To Succeed…). The musical is based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire.

Wicked, the Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle.  Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

With a thrilling score that includes the hits “Defying Gravity,” “Popular” and “For Good,” Wicked has been hailed by The New York Times as “the defining musical of the decade,” and by Time Magazine as “a magical Broadway musical with brains, heart, and courage.”

Winner of over 100 international awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, Wicked has been performed in over 100 cities in 14 countries around the world (U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, and Brazil) and has thus far been translated into six languages: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese.

From the first electrifying note to the final breathtaking moment, Wicked — the untold true story of the Witches of Oz—transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story that USA Today cheers is “a complete triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry, and think.”

It was a pleasure to sit down with Mary Kate Morrissey, who plays the role of Elphaba, for this exclusive Hotspots Interview.

At what age did you begin singing/acting?

When I crawled out of the womb…. I probably crawled out singing an Irish song. When I was a child, we had to learn a song if we wanted to stay up later…it’s an Irish thing….so I just go bit by the bug and never stopped!

What was your first professional gig?

I did the show Little Women when I was in college and worked through Winter Break and made some money.

Other than this show, what role has been your favorite to play and why?

My favorite roles I played are the ones I had a hand in creating. Most of my friends are musical theater writers, so we find a space and put up a show. I love helping these writers. I got to do the workshop for Fun Home and I played Medium Alyson…that was so cool to be there to help develop the character. I’m constantly pitching people to write a musical for me as I have all these characters in my head that I want to play.

What’s your fantasy role?

Elphaba was always my ultimate role. My next ultimate role would be to play Patty Smith in the Patty Smith Musical Memoir. I would also love to play Jack in Into the Woods.

Is there a lot of pressure stepping into the iconic role of Elphaba?

There is definitely a lot of pressure, but I have learned to embrace it. It’s easy for me as I feel like I am an Elphaba on the inside, so I know how to play it in an honest way. Playing Elphaba big responsibility, but it’s something I celebrate.

WATCH:

What should the South Florida audiences expect out of this touring company of Wicked?

The on stage chemistry between my Glinda and I is out of this world. We keep hearing this in every city we tour. Ginna Claire Mason (Glinda) is also one of best friends, and I think that translates on stage. It’s been an amazing journey!

Tickets for the return engagement of WICKED are available at the Broward Center AutoNation Box Office, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312, browardcenter.org or call 954.462.0222. Ticket prices start at $44.25*.

For more information on Mary Kate, go to: Marykate-morrissey.com.