An actor returned to Broadway after 7 years to rescue ‘Wicked’ from a cast shortage

Carla Stickler was working as a software engineer in Chicago when she got the call last weekend for one of the lead roles in the musical “Wicked”: Elphaba. Although he had spent years performing on Broadway as a backup in the role, he hadn’t done the show in seven years.

Still, he flew to New York so the show could go on.

“To say it was an amazing moment would be an understatement,” Stickler wrote on Instagram on January 2. “I’m so glad I performed with this amazing cast and crew. They helped me get through the show last night, and without their energy, cheering me on, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Stickler said he left show business in 2015 after dealing with injuries and health problems, but returning to the stage in this unexpected way was a reminder of how magical the experience was.

“Having the opportunity to interpret it again after I have left the business is giving me the closure that I was missing,” he wrote. “If I never performed again, I could rest easy knowing that something out of this world happened last night.”

Stickler’s fellow actors also applauded his impressive feat.

“Some of us may not fully appreciate what a role like this entails, let alone have not done, rehearsed or even THOUGHT about it for SEVEN years,” said actress Alexandra Silber. tweeted. “But Carla? I did it. On one of the greatest stages on EARTH.”

Stickler isn’t the only one who has to put on a last-minute performance. As Omicron spreads across New York, multiple Broadway actors have been infected with Covid-19, meaning understudies, swings, and understudies have had to step in.

Hugh Jackman recently paid a tribute onstage to the alternate students, calling them “the cornerstone of Broadway.” Days later, the actor and two-time Tony Award winner, who will star in the upcoming Broadway revival of “The Music Man,” announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19.


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