Wicked leads revealed: Australia's new Elphaba and Glinda have just dropped

Sheridan Adams and Courtney Monsma will take on the coveted roles in the 20th anniversary production

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross
Arts and Culture Editor, Time Out Sydney
Sheridan Adams and Courtney Monsma for Wicked
Photograph: Supplied/Hugh Stewart

Two young Australian performers in particular must be feeling totally over the rainbow right now, because they’ve just landed the roles of a lifetime as the leads of Wicked. The 20th anniversary production of the hit Broadway musical is opening in Australia’s own Emerald City at the Sydney Lyric from August 25. 

Sheridan Adams will play Elphaba, the girl born with emerald-green skin who grows up to become the “Wicked Witch of the West”, while Courtney Monsma will play Glinda, the bubbly, popular girl who becomes “Glinda the Good”.

Elphaba is Sheridan Adam’s first leading role. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, she has performed in the ensemble of Tick, Tick… Boom! (Storeyboard Entertainment) and Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical (David Venn Enterprises). 

Since graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium, Courtney Monsma has quickly become an artist in demand, performing in Six The Musical, Mamma Mia! and the Australasian tour of Aladdin. She is best known for starring as Princess Anna in the recent Australian tour of Disney’s Frozen, and is currently filming the new Australian drama series Paper Dolls, in which she plays one of five aspiring singers who are thrust into the spotlight in pursuit of pop-stardom and fame.

A prequel to The Wizard of Oz, set long before Dorothy dropped in, Wicked remains one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world. Winner of over 100 major awards including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards and six Drama Desk Awards. The original Australian production in 2014 starred Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix. 

Adams says that Elphaba has been a dream role for her since she was young: “My first experience was on YouTube, watching Idina Menzel sing ‘Defying Gravity’, and I sang it all the time. Then my Mum bought me The Grimmerie, and I finally got to see the show when I was 16. This is a dream come true.”

Likewise, this is a dream come true for Monsma too. “Wicked was one of the first professional shows I ever saw. I remember getting a ticket through my high school, and I was absolutely mesmerised,” she said. “As a kid I was obsessed by The Wizard of Oz so having that connection, it blew my mind. I’m so excited to be in Wicked; this is a dream come true. I’ve always loved the role of Glinda. The sparkle and the gowns drew me to her, but I think Glinda has a beautiful heart and I love the journey she gets to go on throughout the show.”

At the cast announcement, producer John Frost reiterated his excitement about the casting, and promised that this new production will include some impressive never-before-seen stunts that “cost a lot of money”. Colour us intrigued! 

Tickets start at $79 and are on sale right now over here.

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