Sort of powerful, definitely great: Talking ‘Wicked’ with local actor John Davidson

Wicked - Emerald City

John Davidson is 71-years-old, but that doesn’t stop him from performing eight shows a week with the cast of “Wicked.”

“Bottom line, at my age, I feel lucky to have a job,” laughs Davidson, who plays the Wizard in the tenth anniversary of the immensely popular musical.

Unlike some of the characters in the show, audience members probably know that the Wizard isn’t as “great and powerful” as he proclaims.

“People come to the show with some baggage,” says Davidson. But he thinks that those preconceptions can be a good thing. “People know the story, but there’s freedom when playing this role. I don’t have to be like the guy in the movie.”

Davidson grew up outside of Boston in West Bridgewater, and first appeared on Broadway in 1964. He went on to host a string of television shows, including “Hollywood Squares,” but he says theater is his first love.

“I was a theater arts major in college, and trained with good coaches. So I had the basics for a long career,” he explains. “Maybe that’s why I haven’t burned out.”

It also helps that Davidson is traveling the country for the “Wicked” tour in a comfortable RV. While performing in Boston, he’ll be staked out on a campground outside the city with his wife and pet cat.


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