Wicked finds its Wizard: Jay Laga’aia confirmed for New Zealand

It was confirmed today that New Zealand born actor Jay Laga’aia will join the cast of Wicked for the Auckland season this September in the role of The Wizard of Oz.

Jay Laga'aia. Image supplied
Jay Laga’aia. Image supplied

Well known for his portrayal of Captain Typho in the Star Wars film franchise (Episode II and Episode II), Laga’aia has enjoyed a long career with roles in TV shows such as Water Rats, Play School, McLeod’s Daughters, Xena: Warrior Princess, All Saints, Home and Away and Street Legal.

No stranger to the musical theatre stage, Laga’aia performed the role of Mufasa in the Australian production of The Lion King and he has also belted out Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Laga’aia is thrilled to be returning home to New Zealand in such a pivotal role in Wicked. The Wizard has been performed by television personality Bert Newton for the past few years after the sudden death of New Zealand star Rob Guest in 2008 and Laga’aia will no doubt make the part his own.

“To be able to come home with a show that is absolutely awe-inspiring is something that this prodigal son could only dream about. My biggest fear is not The Wizard but the amount of ticket requests from family and friends! Maybe Glinda or Elphaba could whip up a spell for me.”

Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers have been announced as the leading ladies of this production in the roles of Elphaba and Glinda respectively.

WICKED plays at The Civic in Auckland from 17th September 2013 – the first stop on its 10th anniversary celebration tour – and will run for a strictly limited season.

Tickets on sale Monday 8 April 2013

Visit wickedthemusical.co.nz for more information

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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