The Wiz 

click to enlarge Tom McGowan
  • Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan's one of those actors you know even if you don't know that you know him. In addition to receiving a Tony nomination for his performance in La Bête, he's been a regular on Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond and appeared in films as diverse as Bad Santa and The Birdcage. Now the all-purpose actor is touring as the animal-oppressing Wizard of Oz, in Wicked, which pulls into the Orpheum this week. Here's what McGowan had to say:

Flyer: What about Wicked aren't you tired of talking about?

Tom McGowan: My daughter. She's the one who introduced me to the show. She saw one number from Wicked on the Tony Awards ... and all summer she and her best friend acted it out in the backyard.

You're not a Joel Grey type, although you replaced him in Chicago and are now in Wicked playing the part that Grey played on Broadway.

Nobody ever described me as a "Joel Grey type," but you're right. I should call Joel up to find out what I'll be doing in five years.

The Wizard's fun. We expect the doddering coot from the movie, but he turns out to be not such a nice guy.

There's so much going on in this show. Young girls love it because of the relationship between [Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West]. But there's also a political angle too.

Well, break legs and keep on keeping those animals down.

Those animals deserve everything they get.

"Wicked" at The Orpheum on June 24th-July 12th. $38-$138. Call 525-3000 for tickets and information.

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