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.”