×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alexandra Billings on Becoming the First Trans Person in the Cast of ‘Wicked’

Alexandra Billings is heading to Oz.

The “Transparent” actress is set to make history as she becomes the first trans women to join the Broadway company of “Wicked,” where she’ll take on the role of Madame Morrible in January. Billings begins performances on Jan. 20, replacing current actress Nancy Opel.

“There’s never been a trans person in this show before,” Billings told Variety. “So all of these kids, and their parents and their grandmothers and their aunts and uncles seeing this show… sometime on the way home, somebody’s going to have to have a conversation. And that’s enormous. Whatever the conversation is, however it turns out, the fact that it’s happening is life changing.”

The LGBTQ+ community has had a big week in the theater, as the announcement of Billing’s casting comes on the heels of trans actress Mj Rodriguez’s opening night in the Pasadena Playhouse production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Rodriguez made headlines earlier in the year as the first trans actress to play the cis character Audrey in a main stage production, which closes on October 20.

“I was somebody who was always taught that I was specific,” Rodriguez shared after opening night. “They’re not just labeling me as a trans woman who is playing this role. They’re seeing just the actress play this character and deliver like how she should deliver, and just do the work.”

Billings attended the “Little Shop of Horrors” premiere to support Mj and the cast. “We need representation and you know, you have someone like Mj – who’s not only gifted but who also understands the movements and the revolution,” Billings said. “She’s right at the forefront of it. She’s not only entertaining and a great actor, she’s also smart and knows what she’s doing and why she’s doing it.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Laverne Cox Charlie's Angels

    How Laverne Cox Landed a Cameo in Elizabeth Banks' 'Charlie’s Angels'

    Laverne Cox officially earned her wings, scoring a role in Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels.” But she revealed her cameo almost didn’t happen. When the Emmy-nominee heard that Elizabeth Banks was directing the film, the longtime fan of the franchise (and of Banks herself) reached out about being part of the project. Cox had previously worked with [...]

  • Lena Waithe'The Inheritance' Broadway play opening,

    Lena Waithe, Anderson Cooper Attend Broadway Opening of 'The Inheritance'

    “The Inheritance” pulls viewers in many directions — toward pain and hope, trauma and healing. It’s what brought stars like Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Lena Waithe to Broadway on Sunday — a chance to heal, to remember and grieve. Also in attendance for the premiere at the Barrymore Theater [...]

  • Cybill ShepherdTrevorLIVE, Show, The Beverly Hilton,

    'The L Word' Co-Stars Cybill Shepherd and Jane Lynch Reunite at TrevorLive

    Fans of Showtime’s “The L Word” will be happy to hear that Cybill Shepherd eagerly reprised her on-screen romance with former co-star Jane Lynch on Sunday night at the TrevorLive Gala at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. While accepting the champion Award, Shepherd kissed Lynch not one, but twice. The “Moonlighting” star was recognized [...]

  • Rami Malek, Robert Pattinson and John

    Robert Pattinson Praises Fans for Raising Funds for Go Campaign: ‘It’s So Sweet’

    Robert Pattinson is giving back, but he’s even more impressed that his friends and fans are joining him in the fight. “It’s amazing,” Pattinson told Variety on the black carpet outside Neuehouse in Hollywood at the Go Campaign’s annual gala. “And they’ve done it every year. It’s kind of — it’s so sweet and I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content