Chicagoan returns to Broadway to take part in ‘Wicked’ show, which received COVID casting blows

CHICAGO – A Chicagoan helped save the night on Broadway this past weekend, resuming a role in the hit show “Wicked” for the first time in several years.

Carla Stickler says she grew up surrounded by performing arts before eventually turning that love into a profession on Broadway. While Stickler would continue to shift her career to the tech world a few years ago, a sudden call would place her back in the spotlight again.

“I’m currently in a hotel room in Midtown. I’m going home on Saturday,” Stickler told WGN News via Zoom.

The Broadway artist recently lived in New York City, but said she is a Chicago girl in mind who originally called Oak Park her home. After years in the Big Apple, Stickler and her husband returned to Windy City.

“We live in Logan Square now. We have a house with floor-to-ceiling windows and a yard,” Stickler said. “I’m like ‘this is amazing’.”

A software engineer, a former life saw Stickler perform with “Wicked” full time from 2010 to 2015.

Starring as “Elphaba” for many years, Stickler says she recently got an unexpected phone call. While on vacation, Stickler found out that Broadway needed her to pick up the legendary diet and resume her old role.

“I was brought in to offer relief to the company in a very tough time,” Stickler said. “We all know what’s going on.”

Stickler stepped right in, she says, flying to New York without missing a beat.

“I came to the theater just in time to watch the 8pm show and go straight to rehearsals the next afternoon,” she said.

Stickler said it was the first time she had defied gravity in seven years.

“I had not played Elphaba since 2015, which is definitely the longest I have gone without playing Elphaba,” she said.

Stickler said she loved getting into character one last time. The artist also said she is excited about her future in technological work.

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“I think it’s a really cool thing to mix the different sides of ourselves, and I just hope people see the story and think ‘I can do it’, look at it, it’s a real thing,” Stickler said.

The native Oak Park hopes her story will inspire little girls across the area to pursue all of their dreams.

“You do not have to give up,” she says, “one for the other.”


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