After traveling the country in the famous magic bubble of Glinda the Good Witch, Valley Forge native Amanda Jane Cooper is graduating from the touring company of Wicked to the same role in the Broadway production, starting July 31 at the Gershwin Theatre. Though she has been seen in New York theater, the long-running Wicked will be her Broadway debut.
Previously, she spent 16 months touring the country in the role, and arrives in the Broadway company in time for the 14th anniversary of the show’s October 2003 Broadway opening. Playing the popular foil to the green-skinned Witch of the West, she steps into a role that was originated by Kristin Chenoweth.
A graduate of Great Valley High School in Malvern and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (B.A. in music theater), the 29-year-old Cooper has an extensive resume that includes TV appearances on Glee and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as movies such as Smart People and Sutures. The national traveling tour of Wicked that paved her road to Broadway comes to Philly on Wednesday for a one-month engagement at the Academy of Music.
Besides singing in one-person cabaret shows, Cooper has a particular gift for screwball comedy. In the series of film and TV clips seen on her website, www.amandajanecooper.com, she haplessly sings “Ave Maria” in an ill-fated audition for Whoopi Goldberg and, in another, explains her neck brace as a product of hitching her skateboard to a street bus.