Australian stage and screen star Adam Garcia (pictured) has been confirmed to star alongside Tony Award winner Idina Menzel as Fiyero in Wicked when the hit Broadway musical transfers to the West End’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it opens on 27 September 2006 (previews from 7 September).

Garcia created the role of Tony Manero in the stage premiere of Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium in 1998, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Most recently, he starred as Chip in On The Town for English National Opera at the London Coliseum.

Garcia helped develop the role of Fiyero – a prince who sweeps good witch Glinda off her feet - in the 2002 workshop of Wicked in New York. His other stage credits include Grease, Birdy, Hot Shoe Shuffle and the Christopher Shinn play Where Do We Live at the Royal Court.

On television, Garcia was recently seen in Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion, Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Body in the Library, and as Nijinsky in Kevin Elyot’s Riot at the Rite. His film appearances include Riding in Cars with Boys, Standing Still, The First 20 Million Is Always The Hardest, Wilde and Coyote Ugly.

Wicked tells the “untold story” of the Witches of Oz - popular blonde Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and her spin-victim friend Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West – who were both immortalised in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz. The show has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell). Songs include “Popular”, “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “The Wizard and I”, “I’m Not that Girl” and “The March of the Witch Hunters”.

The West End production reunites the original Broadway creative team. It’s directed by Joe Mantello and designed by Eugene Lee, with costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Kenneth Postner, sound by Tony Meola, orchestrations by William David Brohn and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. In addition to Stone, Platt and McCabe, the show is produced in London by the Araca Group, Jon B Platt and Universal Pictures.

Further casting is expected to be announced next week.

- by Caroline Ansdell