Indian American actress Shobha Narayan is now a part of the “Wicked” legacy.
Narayan, who most recently starred as Eliza Hamilton in the “Hamilton” national tour, is now playing the role of Nessarose in “Wicked,” the long-running production at the Gershwin Theatre in New York.
“Wicked,” according to wickedthemusical.com, looks at what happened in the land of Oz – but from a different angle. “There is a 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.”
The New York Times has declared “Wicked” as “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster,” while TIME magazine, in its review, has stated that “If every musical had the brains, heart & courage of Wicked, Broadway really would be a magical place.”
The show runs one hour and 45 minutes, including one fifteen-minute intermission.
Narayan’s Twitter post following the casting showed her excitement but also revealed some unpleasant experiences from the past.
“My first major leading role in a musical was back in middle school. I got the opportunity to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. That experience was one of the most pivotal in my journey, but it didn’t come without some dark moments,” she wrote in a Twitter thread. “‘Dorothy isn’t brown!’ my classmates said. ‘Dorothy needs to be white. It’s never going to be you.’ I managed to push through the noise, and to my classmates’ shock, I got the role.”
She continued: It was my first lesson that in this wild world of the arts and entertainment, there would be an uphill battle to change perception, and that nothing worth having would come easy. It is only fitting that my next announcement is that I’ll be going back to Oz. But this time it will be a little different… and a bit more... wicked.”
“Thrilled to share that I’ll be Nessarose in Wicked on Broadway. I’m excited to wear those slippers again, this time as a Wicked Witch. Come see a house fall on me at the Gershwin,” she concluded with a smiley face emoji.
Originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Narayan is a New York- based actor, singer, and dancer. She also starred in the 12-time Tony-nominated musical, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” on Broadway.
Her previous TV credits include “Quantico,” “Gossip Girl,” “Halal In The Family,” “The Good Wife” and “Limitless.”
Narayan has also played supporting roles in films, including “Growing Up Smith,” “Coin Heist,” “Price For Freedom” and “Mistress America.”
A Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher, Narayan has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and India.